An article in the Pioneer regarding a proposed uranium mine in the southwest Hills leaves the impression that uranium mining is safe and clean, and that groundwater would be protected. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Fact: Such mining uses vast amounts of water to draw uranium out of the ground, process it, then inject the wastewater back into the ground. Powertech/Azarga proposes to draw 13 million gallons/day of water out of the Madison and Inyan Kara aquifers every day for up to 20 years.
Fact: The US Geological Survey states that NO attempt at returning water at this type of uranium mine to its pre-mining condition has ever been successful.
Fact: Containment of the water injected into the ground cannot be guaranteed due to natural fissures and fractures in the ground in this region. Water contaminated with radioactivity and toxic heavy metals can migrate into human and stock well water.
Fact: Tourism and agriculture are the main engines of the western SD economy. Uranium mining will result in drawing down and polluting our water sources, ultimately affecting every wage earner and land owner.
Fact: Various opportunities for public testimony on this project reveal that most citizens oppose it. Native citizens have been especially vocal in noting the violation of their treaty rights represented by this project, and in sounding the alarm for all residents of the southern Hills.
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