Should the state grant a permit to a company wanting to mine for uranium in the southern Black Hills? That's the question the State Board of Minerals and Environment will have to answer. But before they do, they'll hear from dozens of citizens in the area for and against the project that is proposed near Edgemont.
Those in opposition worry that the In Situ process will contaminate the water. Additionally, they are upset that the public comment portion of the hearing process is only two hours and as such they held a rally Monday morning hoping they're voices will be heard. "There are literally thousands of citizens in South Dakota that object to this project so we're having the rally just to signify the kind of feelings that the citizenry has," a Black Hills Clean Water Alliance member said.
This protest is the latest in a string of events building up to Monday's hearing accusing the mining company Powertech of spinning the truth. But company president Richard Clement says he's not the one manipulating the facts. "This type of operation has been done for a number of years since 1976 and there has never been an incident where it has been harmful to human health or the environment," Clement said.