The president of the Rapid City council is baffled by the action of the South Dakota Board of Minerals and Environment.
Jerry Wright said he and Mayor Sam Kooiker are surprised the board would so willingly silence the voices of the second largest city in the state. In August, after a vigorous debate and with an overwhelming majority, the city council passed a resolution expressing concern about the In Situ mining process and the potential risk to the Madison Aquifer - which supplies the city.
In a meeting Monday, the state Board of Minerals and Environment denied the inclusion of that resolution into the official record of the upcoming hearings.
"We represent 67,000 people. Why would they discard our concerns? we're not asking to testify. We're not asking to stop the mine. We're just asking them to be very careful about what happens to our water - it's only fair," Wright said.
The city attorney's office is drafting an appeal, and is asking for the board to reconsider denial of the city's petition.