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Uranium Mining Will Make Black Hills Water Worse

Dakota Rural Action and the Clean Water Alliance are holding an information meeting on the impact of uranium mining on the Black Hills tonight in Rapid City. One of the key facts they'll explain is that allowing Canadian company Powertech to learn how to mine uranium in South Dakota will hurt our water supply.

The empirical evidence for the danger to Black Hills aquifers comes from Texas. In 2009, the U.S. Geological Survey studied groundwater restoration efforts at 22 areas in Texas where uranium was mined by in situ leach techniques. That's where miners pump vast quantities of water and toxic chemicals into the ground to dissolve uranium and force it to the surface. According to the USGS, not one well field returned total water quality to its pre-mining levels. In every well-field, Texas regulators relaxed the water-quality regulations after the mine operators made some effort to clean up their mess.

There are numerous other examples around the world of uranium mining leaving millions of cubic meters of poison in the ground. Let's not add South Dakota to that list. Uranium mining will not make the Black Hills a better place to live. Tell Powertech we don't need to sacrifice our water for their temporary profits.

One Comment

  1. Dana P. 2012.12.13

    Water is a precious commodity. We should treat it that way. None of us has a crystal ball to predict what will happen if we continue to abuse it - but wouldn't we want to take precautions to be on the safe side? Why should we let our water be abused for the profits of a few? It doesn't make any sense....

    Our friends in Colorado are having some water issues - for a variety of reasons. Yet another example why we should treat water with more respect.

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