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(last updated 9 Jul 2017)


South Dakota

General · Dewey/Burdock
> See also Issues for: Operating Mines · Decommissioning Projects · Legislation & Regulations
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

General

Uranium mining in South Dakota is being opposed by Defenders of the Black Hills , ACTion for the Environment, and Clean Water Alliance .

 

South Dakota wants to regain some state regulation of in-situ leach uranium mining from NRC

> View here

Bill introduced in South Dakota Senate aims at halt of state regulation of in-situ leach uranium mining

> View here

South Dakota revises rules for reclamation of exploration test holes and in-situ leach mining

> View here (2008)

South Dakota adopts In Situ Leach Mine Regulations

> View here (2007)

Tribal judge excludes uranium company from Pine Ridge reservation

On October 29, 2007, Oglala Sioux Tribe (OST) Chief Judge Lisa Adams issued an exclusion order to remove the Native American Energy Group (N.A.E.G.) from the Pine Ridge reservation, declaring that the company has been trespassing on tribal lands. The finding gave NAEG 30 days to vacate the reservation.
The Judge also noted that N.A.E.G. ignored a tribal resolution that accepted the OST Environmental Technical Team's recommendation that the Tribe not enter into any working relationship with N.A.E.G. Further, the order stated that OST Member, Eileen Janis, failed to inform N.A.E.G. about OST ordinances prohibiting exploration and mining for uranium. (Owe Aku International Human Rights and Justice Program, Nov. 9, 2007)

 

Dewey/Burdock project (ISL), Custer County / Fall River County

> View deposit details
> See also: Darrow, Freezeout and Triangle abandoned uranium mines, Black Hills area, South Dakota

Contents:

Dewey/Burdock: General

Cleanup not necessary at abandoned uranium mines in the project area of the proposed Dewey-Burdock uranium mine, EPA finds:
> View here

Upgraded resource and Preliminary Economic Assessment announced for Dewey Burdock in situ leach uranium project, assuming almost twice the current uranium price: On Jan. 29, 2015, Azarga Uranium Corp. announced the results of an upgraded resource and Preliminary Economic Assessment for its Dewey Burdock in situ leach uranium project, assuming a uranium sales price of US$65 per pound U3O8. The PEA was actually released on March 13, 2015.
> Access Mine Feasibility Calculator

U.S. EPA assessment finds radioactive contamination at abandoned uranium mines in the project area of the proposed Dewey-Burdock uranium mine (South Dakota):
> View here

Oglala Sioux Tribe invokes treaties against Dewey/Burdock uranium in situ leach mine: The Oglala Sioux Tribe in southwestern South Dakota is invoking federal treaties and international agreements in protest of a proposed uranium mine in the western part of the state. Tribal president Bryan Brewer is demanding protection from the federal government from "immediate threat of contamination and irreparable harm." The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission recently issued an operating license for a proposed uranium mine in the area. The mine still needs approval from the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the state. The Oglala Sioux has called upon the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples , signed by President Barak Obama, to support their cause. The tribe has also invoked treaties from the mid-1800s. A declaration issued by the tribe says the mine would taint water and desecrate the land. (NewsOK.com Apr. 23, 2014)

Post-restoration uranium concentrations in downgradient groundwater at Dewey-Burdock uranium in situ leach mine may be much higher than previously thought, modeling suggests: Reactive transport modeling using an updated thermodynamic database indicates elevated uranium concentrations in downgradient groundwater at the Dewey-Burdock site during a period of 25 years after completion of groundwater restoration. Under certain circumstances, "uranium can reach concentrations in groundwater that are actually higher than the original post-restoration uranium concentration of 200 Ķg/L".
While the modeling is based on the proposed Dewey-Burdock in situ recovery (ISR) site, "the procedures and results can be generically applied to any ISR site."
> Johnson, Raymond H.; Tutu, Hlanganani: Reactive transport modeling at uranium in situ recovery sites: uncertainties in uranium sorption on iron hydroxides (445k PDF). - In: Brown, A.; Figueroa, L. & Wolkersdorfer, Ch.: Reliable Mine Water Technology (Vol I). - p. 377 - 383; Denver, Colorado, USA, 2013

Rapid City Council opposes Dewey-Burdock uranium in situ leach mine project: The Rapid City Council made their voice known this week on the proposed uranium mine near Edgemont. At their Monday (Aug. 5) evening meeting, the council unanimously agreed to draft a resolution of concern regarding the water that would be used in this project.
A motion was made by Alderman Jerry Wright, and seconded by Alderman Charity Doyle, to draft the resolution, which would simply state it is a resolution "opposing in-situ mining of uranium by Powertech in South Dakota as the risk to our precious water is not acceptable." Doyle, who has a background as a water resources engineer, stated several concerns with the proposal for the mine, which would use the Madison Aquifer for the mining. As stated by Mayor Sam Kookier in a letter to the State Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Madison Aquifer is the primary water supply for Rapid City and Ellsworth Air Force Base. (KCSR Aug. 7, 2013)
The Rapid City Council passed a resolution late Monday (Aug. 19) night opposing a uranium mining operation near Edgemont, saying it "poses an unacceptable risk" to the city's primary water supply. (Rapid City Journal Aug. 20, 2013)

Fall River County Commission opposes Dewey-Burdock uranium in situ leach mine project until conditions met: After a three-hour meeting marked by sharp exchanges between a project official and opponents, the Fall River County Commission voted Monday (Nov. 26) to oppose a proposed uranium mine near Edgemont. But the five-member commission left open the possibility it could drop its opposition if Canadian-based Powertech Uranium Corp. and its U.S. affiliates provide assurances on water issues and other concerns. And Commission Chairman Mike Ortner of Hot Springs expects that to happen. (Rapid City Journal Nov. 27, 2012)

Revised Preliminary Economic Assessment announced for Dewey-Burdock uranium in situ leach project: On April 19, 2012, Powertech announced that it has received the results of a revised Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) for its Dewey-Burdock Project.
> Calculate Mine Feasibility

On July 8, 2010, Powertech announced the receipt of positive results of a Preliminary Economic Assessment for its Dewey-Burdock Project.

Powertech project manager, registered corporate lobbyist, and former state legislator Mark Hollenbeck calls the proposed Dewey-Burdock uranium mine a 'water cleanup project': "As far as the ground water being contaminated, that's where the uranium is today, it's in the ground water we're removing it. This is like a water clean up project, and we are going to sell the by-product on," says Hollenbeck. (South Dakota Public Broadcasting Apr. 5, 2010)

Two groups and an individual have filed nomination petitions with the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources to have lands west of Edgemont declared special, exceptional, critical or unique. The petitions were filed Dec. 28, 2008, in Pierre. Oglala Sioux tribal member Debra White Plume, Defenders of the Black Hills and the Oglala Sioux Tribe have all filed the petitions with the DENR's Minerals and Mining program to ask that the determinations be made. The lands are within an area that has been leased by Powertech Uranium for exploration and possible mining of the mineral. "There are over 100 archaeological sites that date from pre-history, before white men came to this area," White Plume said. "They include camp sites, burial grounds, and places where we have ceremonies now." (Black Hills Pioneer Jan. 6, 2009)

A request by two environmental groups to temporarily stop uranium exploration in Fall River County has been denied. Circuit Judge Jack Delaney says the opponents have not shown how continued drilling will cause environmental harm. Powertech Uranium Corporation is drilling 155 exploratory holes north of Edgemont. About 40 holes have been drilled already. (AP June 20, 2007)

A state-issued permit allowing exploratory drilling for uranium in the Black Hills of southwest South Dakota is being challenged in court. An Indian treaty rights group called Defenders of the Black Hills says the state Board of Minerals and Environment improperly granted the exploration permit to Powertech Uranium Corp.
Powertech plans to drill 155 exploration holes northwest of Edgemont, which is about 10 miles from the Wyoming border. (Casper Star-Tribune March 29, 2007)

(project dropped by IUC in fiscal 2000)

 

Dewey/Burdock: DENR large scale mine permit application

> Powertech (USA), Inc. - Large Scale Mine Permit Application (SD DENR)

State board postpones hearings on mine permit for Dewey-Burdock uranium in situ leach project: The state Board of Minerals and Environment has postponed the rest of its hearings on the proposed Dewey-Burdock uranium mine until after the federal government and another state board release their decisions on the project. (Rapic City Journal Nov. 5, 2013)

South Dakota DENR recommends mining permit be granted for Dewey Burdock uranium in situ leach project: The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources has released its recommendation regarding a mining permit for Powertech's uranium project. The permit should be issued, DENR said in a notice filed this week. The decision whether that happens, however, is up to the state Board of Minerals and Environment. (The Daily Republic Apr. 18, 2013)
Petitions to intervene must be filed no later than April 22, 2013.
> Download: DENR Recommendation and Permit Conditions , Apr. 15, 2013 (4.4M PDF)

South Dakota DENR invites petitions to intervene on Mine Permit application for Dewey Burdock uranium in situ leach project: Powertech submitted a large scale mine permit application on October 1, 2012. The department has completed its review of Powertech's mine permit application and supplemental information and determined it was procedurally complete on January 16, 2013. The deadline for petitions to intervene and become a party to a hearing on the application is February 19, 2013.

Mine Permit application for Dewey Burdock uranium in situ leach project released:
> Download Powertech's Large Scale Mine Permit application, Oct. 1, 2012 (SD DENR Oct. 11, 2012)

 

Dewey/Burdock: DENR ground water discharge plan application

> Powertech (USA), Inc. - Ground Water Permits (SD DENR)

State board postpones hearing on ground water discharge plan for Dewey-Burdock uranium in situ leach project: A second state panel has delayed hearings on a proposed uranium mine in the Black Hills until two federal agencies decide on the project. The South Dakota Water Management Board on Monday (Nov. 25) postponed its second week of hearings scheduled for the week of Dec. 9 in Rapid City.
The Board of Minerals and Environment earlier delayed its second round of hearings on Powertech Uranium Corp.'s application for a mine near Edgemont. Both state boards say they'll reschedule after the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Environmental Protection Agency rule on the project and establish what sort of bonding the company will have to post to cover and clean-up costs. The Water Management Board says the delay was in response to a request from Powertech and other parties.†The panel must decide whether to grant water rights permits and a groundwater discharge plan. (Rapid City Journal Nov. 25, 2013)

South Dakota DENR recommends approval of ground water discharge plan for Dewey-Burdock uranium in situ leach mine: The South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has issued a recommendation for conditional approval on an application from Powertech (USA) Inc. for a ground water discharge plan related to land applying treated wastewater at a proposed in situ leach mining facility in Custer and Fall River counties.
Petitions to intervene on the departmentís recommendation must be filed with the departmentís Ground Water Quality Program and postmarked by January 18, 2013. If petitioned, a hearing on the department's recommendation will be heard before the state Water Management Board sometime early in 2013.
> View DENR release Dec. 17, 2012

NRC releases Powertech's application for Groundwater Discharge Plan at Dewey-Burdock uranium in situ leach project: On July 13, 2012, NRC released Powertech's application for a Groundwater Discharge Plan, as submitted on March 5, 2012.

 

Dewey/Burdock: DENR water appropriation permit application

> View Powertech (USA) Inc. Applications for Water Right Permits (SD DENR)

State board postpones hearing on water appropriation permit for Dewey-Burdock uranium in situ leach project: A second state panel has delayed hearings on a proposed uranium mine in the Black Hills until two federal agencies decide on the project. The South Dakota Water Management Board on Monday (Nov. 25) postponed its second week of hearings scheduled for the week of Dec. 9 in Rapid City.
The Board of Minerals and Environment earlier delayed its second round of hearings on Powertech Uranium Corp.'s application for a mine near Edgemont. Both state boards say they'll reschedule after the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Environmental Protection Agency rule on the project and establish what sort of bonding the company will have to post to cover and clean-up costs. The Water Management Board says the delay was in response to a request from Powertech and other parties.†The panel must decide whether to grant water rights permits and a groundwater discharge plan. (Rapid City Journal Nov. 25, 2013)

South Dakota DENR issues Notice of Hearing on proposed appropriation of water for the Dewey-Burdock in situ leach uranium mine from Inyan Kara and Madison aquifers: Notice is given that Powertech (USA) Inc. has filed two applications for water permits for primarily industrial use in a uranium in-situ mining project called the Dewey-Burdock Project located in Custer and Fall River Counties. The Water Management Board will consider these applications on December 5, 2012. Any interested person who intends to participate in the hearing shall file a petition to oppose or support the applications. A petition must be filed by November 26, 2012.
On Nov. 27, 2012, the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) announced that the hearing on two applications from Powertech (USA) Inc. for water right permits for proposed uranium in situ leach mining in southwestern South Dakota has been postponed. A new date for the hearing has not been set, but it will likely be rescheduled sometime early in 2013. The department has received written petitions requesting the postponement.

Powertech submits applications for permits to appropriate water for Dewey-Burdock in situ leach uranium mine from Inyan Kara and Madison aquifers: On June 8, 2012, Powertech submitted to South Dakota Department of Environment & Natural Resources applications for permits to appropriate water from the Inyan Kara aquifer and from the Madison aquifer.

 

Dewey/Burdock: DENR Class III Underground Injection Control (UIC) Permit application

On April 19, 2010, the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) determined that Powertech's revised application (submitted on Feb. 5, 2010) for a South Dakota Class III Underground Injection Control Permit (UIC) is still incomplete.

On Feb. 5, 2010, Powertech submitted a revised application for a Class III UIC Permit to the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
> Download revised permit application files (SD DENR)

On Aug. 6, 2009, the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) determined that Powertech's application (submitted on April 22, 2009) for a South Dakota Class III Underground Injection Control Permit (UIC) is incomplete: "In general terms, the application lacks sufficient detail to address fundamental questions related to whether the project can be conducted in a controlled manner to protect ground water resources." (ADAMS Acc. No. ML092310624 )

 

Dewey/Burdock: EPA Class III Underground Injection Control (UIC) Permit application

EPA invites comment on draft Class III UIC permit and aquifer exemption for Dewey/Burdock in situ leach uranium mine: The EPA Region 8 UIC Program is issuing a Draft UIC Area Permits to Powertech (USA) Inc. for injection activities related to uranium recovery. It is a UIC Class III Area Permit for injection wells for the ISR of uranium. The EPA is also proposing an aquifer exemption approval in connection with the Class III Area Permit to exempt the uranium-bearing portions of the Inyan Kara Group aquifers.
Written comments must be received by midnight on May 19, 2017.
> Access: Public Notice: Administrative Record for the Dewey-Burdock Class III and Class V Injection Well Draft Area Permits, Mar. 6, 2017 (EPA)

On Jan. 15, 2009, Powertech Uranium Corp. announced that, through its wholly owned subsidiary Powertech (USA) Inc., it has submitted its first major permit application for the Dewey-Burdock Project to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA issues one of three major permits that will allow development of the Company's Dewey-Burdock Project in the Edgemont Uranium District of southwestern South Dakota. The application filed with the EPA is for an Underground Injection Control Permit.
> Download Class III Permit Application (EPA Region 8)

 

Dewey/Burdock: EPA Class V Underground Injection Control (UIC) Permit application for deep disposal wells

EPA invites comment on draft Class V UIC permit for deep disposal wells at Dewey/Burdock in situ leach uranium mine: The EPA Region 8 UIC Program is issuing a Draft UIC Area Permit to Powertech (USA) Inc. for injection activities related to uranium recovery. It is a UIC Class V Area Permit for deep injection wells that will be used to dispose of ISR process waste fluids into the Minnelusa Formation after treatment to meet radioactive waste and hazardous waste standards.
Written comments must be received by midnight on June 19, 2017 (Comment period extended).
> Access: Public Notice: Administrative Record for the Dewey-Burdock Class III and Class V Injection Well Draft Area Permits, Mar. 6, 2017 (EPA)
> View Public Notice: Extension of Public Comment Period

Permit application filed for deep well injection at Dewey-Burdock ISL project: On April 1, 2010, Powertech Uranium Corp. announced that its subsidiary, Powertech (USA) Inc., has submitted the Underground Injection Control (UIC) Class V permit application for its Dewey-Burdock Project to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) - Region 8. The permit, upon issuance, would allow Powertech to dispose of its brine waste water down a deep well after removal of radionuclides. The permit is one of several required in order to construct and operate the Company's proposed uranium in situ operation in southwestern South Dakota.
> Download Class V Permit Application (EPA Region 8)

 

Dewey/Burdock: BLM Plan of Operation permit application

On Oct. 26, 2009, Powertech Uranium Corp. announced that it has submitted the required Plan of Operation to the U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for its Dewey-Burdock uranium in situ project.

 

Dewey/Burdock: NRC uranium recovery license application

> View License Application (NRC)
> View Dewey-Burdock Site - Application In Review (NRC)

Oglala Sioux Tribe asks court to revoke NRC license for Dewey Burdock in situ leach uranium mine project: The Oglala Sioux Tribe pressed the D.C. Circuit on Tuesday (June 27) to revoke a license given by the federal government to the company behind a proposed uranium mine, questioning why it has been left intact when related environmental and historic preservation issues have been identified. (Law360 June 28, 2017)
> Download: Petition for Review: Initial Opening Brief , June 27, 2017 (2.8MB PDF)

Oglala Sioux Tribe files petition for review of license for Dewey Burdock in situ leach uranium mine project: On Feb. 24, 2017, Azarga Uranium Corp. announced that it has received notice that the Oglala Sioux Tribe has filed a petition for review of the decision made by the Commission of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission pertaining to the 30 April 2015 partial initial decision of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board regarding the Company's NRC license for the Dewey Burdock Uranium Project.
> Download Oglala Sioux Tribe Petition for Review , Feb. 21, 2017 (PDF)

NRC in part approves contentions lodged against license for Dewey Burdock in situ leach uranium mine project: The federal government's Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) today supported the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board's (ASLB) 2015 decision in the case about the proposed Dewey-Burdock uranium mine in Fall River and Custer Counties.
The Commissioners ruled that the process for identification and protection of cultural and historical resources was not done properly. The National Environmental Policy Act and related laws require that there be full consultation with tribal governments that may have an interest in cultural and historical resources on a proposed mine site. Government agencies must include tribal elders and officials in the process to identify traditional cultural resources. NRC staff have to go back and do a proper, formal consultation with the Oglala Sioux Tribe on these issues.
The Commission also said that the mining company must properly plug thousands of open boreholes that resulted from past mining. If these holes were not plugged and mining occurred, there would be a high risk of water contamination outside the mining area. According to research by an expert witness in the case, Dr. Hannan LaGarry, there are approximately 7,500 old boreholes on the proposed mine site. [...]
The Commissioners did not revoke Powertech/Azarga's license, despite these problems, although one of the Commissioners said in his dissent that the license should be suspended until the problems are resolved. The Commissioner said that there should be full disclosure of environmental impacts and an opportunity to comment and oppose a license before a license is issued. [...] (Black Hills Clean Water Alliance Dec. 23, 2016, emphasis added)
> Download: NRC Memorandum and Order CLI-16-20 , Dec. 23, 2016 (300k PDF)

NRC approves license amendment for Dewey Burdock in situ leach uranium mine project - opponents fear groundwater pollution: According to a Dec. 7 press release by Azarga Uranium announced it had received approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for the first amendment the company proposed to the NRC Source and Byproduct Materials License for the Dewey Burdock project.
Sarah Peterson, of Hot Springs's It's All About the Water group, a anti-uranium advocate, says that her group knows about Azarga's "strategy" with this. Peterson said this is about Azarga's effort to take radioactive waste and put this waste down boreholes - much like those proposed to be drilled near Phillip, in Haakon County. The waste in these boreholes, she said, could reach the Deadwood and Minnelusa aquifers, a serious threat for people who rely on these waters.
Peterson said the company originally asked for four of these bore holes, but amended this to 12 bore holes later, with no hearing, just a notice that these were not for in situ uranium mining, what Azarga has wanted to do with the Dewey Burdock area for some time. Peterson says that this type of project could send a "plume" of uranium-tainted pollution into the aquifers at a rate of 10 miles per year, not the one mile per year the company asserts could happen. "No matter how far the plume goes, it's still toxic," she said.
Peterson also complained that at NRC hearings in the past, Azarga and the NRC claimed that the aquifers didn't "communicate" - that they were not connected. More recent studies, she said, show these aquifers are connected and are "communicating." What goes into one aquifer comes out of springs associated with the other aquifer, studies show. (Rapid City Journal Dec. 20, 2016)

NRC appoints successor for deceased member of Licensing Board in Dewey-Burdock proceeding: Necessitated by the death of Dr. Richard F. Cole, the NRC appointed Administrative Judge G. Paul Bollwerk, III, to serve as a Licensing Board member in the Dewey-Burdock proceeding.
> Federal Register Volume 80, Number 114 (Monday, June 15, 2015) p. 34174-34175 (download full text )

NRC board delivers mixed decision on opponents' challenges of license issued for Dewey-Burdock in situ leach uranium mine: The licensing board found in Powertech's favor on five opponents' challenges relating to water quality and quantity. It did, however, revise Powertech's license, instructing the company to make more efforts to find and "properly abandon" existing drill holes at the site to prevent contamination.
The licensing board ruled in favor of the Oglala Sioux Tribe (OST) on the threat the mining operation would pose to Native American cultural, historic and religious sites in the wellfield. The board found that the NRC staff's final environmental impact statement does not comply with the National Environmental Protection Act because it fails to adequately address those issues.
Furthermore, the licensing board found that the NRC staff members did not properly conduct a government-to-government consultation with the OST as required by law to identify any harm the project would do to culturally significant sites. (Rapid City Journal May 1, 2015)
> Download ASLBP Partial initial decision, LBP-15-16, April 30, 2015 (416k PDF)

Developers of a proposed uranium recovery operation in southwestern South Dakota and their opponents have asked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to review last month's decision by the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board. (Rapid City Journal May 27, 2015)

Expert's testimony identifies plethora of problems making it very unlikely that Dewey-Burdock uranium deposit can be safely mined by in situ leaching:

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB) ruled today that testimony presented by Dr. Hannan LaGarry should be made public. Dr. LaGarry's testimony covered geological information about water protection on the proposed Dewey-Burdock in situ leach uranium mine site in Custer and Fall River Counties. Azarga Uranium (formerly Powertech), which wants to do the mining, must first prove that the mining process can be contained to avoid polluting surface and ground water outside the mining area. Government agencies require that the in situ process - which involves pumping water through uranium deposits to chemically remove the uranium - must be confined to the mining area to avoid polluting clean water.
Dr. LaGarry's testimony says "there is no reasonable expectation that confinement remains in drilled areas." His research showed that there [are] at least 7,515 old drill holes on the site. (In its applications, Azarga said that there were about 4,000 holes.) This means that, if mining was allowed, contaminated mining water could easily move into what had been clean ground water. There are a number of ranches in the immediate area of the proposed mine that currently use this water for livestock and human consumption.
His testimony also says that artesian water, which presses up from underground and pumps to the surface naturally, is present on the site. This, he says, could pump mining fluids to the surface, "and poses a significant risk of unexpected, serious contamination of the Cheyenne River and its tributaries."
Dr. LaGarry's research also identified "numerous faults present in the licensed areas," as well as a sinkhole, which could also allow mined water to move into clean water. Azarga has consistently said that faults and sinkholes are not present where they want to mine. Much of the information that Dr. LaGarry used to create his testimony was taken from documents that included driller's logs. These logs included notations that information should be withheld from maps and from landowners, and some data was missing from the files viewed by Dr. LaGarry. The records also indicated that 13 of the drill holes that Dr. LaGarry looked at were plugged with wooden fenceposts, and another 6 with broken steel. Clearly, these do not provide permanent protection for the groundwater.
(Dakota Rural Action / Clean Water Alliance , Jan. 12, 2015)

> Download Dr. LaGarry's testimony, Nov. 21, 2014 (547k PDF): Clean Water Alliance · NRC ADAMS Acc. No. ML14325A866 · alternate NRC link

Expert's testimony based on geological survey data for Dewey-Burdock uranium in situ leach mine must be made public, NRC Board rules: The Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB) ruled at its August 19-21, 2014, hearing (see below) that the information had to be released to Dr. LaGarry, a geologist and expert witness for the Oglala Sioux Tribe, Clean Water Alliance, and other intervenors in the ASLB process. Dr. LaGarry reviewed the information, keeping it confidential, and produced his testimony. The intervenors asked that Dr. LaGarry's testimony be made public, and Azarga (Powertech) again objected. Today's (Jan. 12, 2015) ruling by the ASLB requires that the testimony be made public. (Dakota Rural Action / Clean Water Alliance, Jan. 12, 2015)

Powertech must release geological survey data for Dewey-Burdock uranium in situ leach mine, NRC Board rules: A mining company must release the results of a geological survey that opponents of its proposed uranium mine in western South Dakota say is necessary to ensure that local aquifers are protected, a federal licensing board of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission ruled Wednesday (Aug. 20). The Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB) continued its hearings Wednesday morning in Rapid City, where three federal judges are hearing challenges to a license granted to Powertech Uranium Corp. for its proposed Dewey-Burdock uranium mine. (Argus Leader Aug. 20, 2014)

Judge issues temporary stay against operating license for Dewey-Burdock uranium in situ leach mine: A panel of judges Wednesday (Apr. 30) issued a temporary stay against the operating license Powertech Uranium Corp. received earlier this month by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.† The ruling, made by three administrative judges on the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board suspends the first official approval Powertech has gotten to operate its proposed Dewey-Burdock mine near Edgemont.† The stay, which both uranium supporters and opponents expected, will allow uranium opponents more time to make their case against the proposal.† (Rapid City Journal Apr. 30, 2014)
After holding an oral argument on May 13, 2014, the ASLB lifted the temporary stay on May 20, 2014.

NRC issues license for Dewey-Burdock uranium in situ leach mine project On April 8, 2014, NRC issued Material License No. SUA-1600 for Powertech's Dewey-Burdock uranium in situ leach mine project.
> Federal Register Volume 79, Number 72 (Tuesday, April 15, 2014) p. 21302-21303 (download full text )

NRC issues revised Safety Evaluation Report for Dewey Burdock uranium in situ leach project
> Download: Safety Evaluation Report (Revised) for the Dewey-Burdock Project, Fall River and Custer Counties, South Dakota , U.S. NRC, April 2014 (8MB PDF)

NRC releases revised Technical Report for Dewey-Burdock uranium in situ leach mine project:
> Download Technical Report Feb. 2009, revised Dec. 2013

NRC issues Final EIS for Dewey-Burdock uranium in situ leach mine project:
> Download NRC release Jan. 30, 2014 (PDF)
> Federal Register Volume 79, Number 21 (Friday, January 31, 2014), p. 5468-5469 (download full text )
> Access Docket ID NRC-2012-0277
Environmental Impact Statement for the Dewey-Burdock Project in Custer and Fall River Counties, South Dakota, Supplement to the Generic Environmental Impact Statement for In-Situ Leach Uranium Milling Facilities, Final Report, NUREG-1910 Supplement 4, January 2014
> Download: Vol. 1: Chapters 1 to 5 (40MB PDF) · Vol. 2: Chapters 6 to 11 and Appendices (32MB PDF)

NRC board admits several contentions of intervenors against Dewey Burdock uranium in situ leach project: Opponents of a proposed uranium mine near Edgemont said Tuesday (July 23) that the project has suffered a notable setback before a key federal board. A Powertech Uranium spokesman differed, saying the ruling by the federal Atomic Safety and Licensing Board was just another part of a complicated, five-year licensing process.
The board, an entity with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission composed of administrative law judges, evaluates arguments and considers concerns as part of the licensing process. Jeffrey Parsons, a spokesman for the Western Mining Action Project, said a recent ruling by the board will require Powertech to "go back and conduct significant new environmental and cultural studies" that Parsons said should have been done long ago in the license process.
Parsons represents the Oglala Sioux Tribe, which has standing in the case and continues to question and object to provisions in the Powertech plan. Parsons and Lilias Jarding of the Clean Water Alliance said Powertech now must "follow federal laws" that demand extensive scientific study of the potential impacts of the mine on groundwater and cultural resources. (Rapid City Journal July 24, 2013)
> Download MEMORANDUM AND ORDER (Ruling on Proposed Contentions Related to the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement), LBP-13-09, July 22, 2013

NRC issues Safety Evaluation Report for Dewey Burdock uranium in situ leach project
> Download: Safety Evaluation Report for the Dewey-Burdock Project, Fall River and Custer Counties, South Dakota , U.S. NRC, March 2013 (8MB PDF)

Oglala Sioux Tribe refuses NRC's proposal for survey of historic and cultural properties at Dewey-Burdock uranium in situ leach project site:
> Download Oglala Sioux Tribe letter to NRC, Nov. 5, 2012

NRC issues Draft EIS for Dewey-Burdock uranium in situ leach mine project for comment: On Nov. 14, 2012, NRC issued the Draft EIS for the Dewey-Burdock uranium in situ leach mine project for comment.
The comment period ends January 10, 2013.
> Download NRC release Nov. 16, 2012 (PDF)
> Federal Register Volume 77, Number 227 (Monday, November 26, 2012) p. 70486-70487 (download full text )
> Federal Register Volume 77, Number 226 (Friday, November 23, 2012) p. 70160-70161 (download full text )
Environmental Impact Statement for the Dewey-Burdock Project in Custer and Fall River Counties, South Dakota, Supplement to the Generic Environmental Impact Statement for In-Situ Leach Uranium Milling Facilities, Draft Report for Comment, NUREG-1910 Supplement 4:
> Download Vol. 1 (33.4MB PDF) · Vol. 2 (33.7MB PDF)
> Access Docket ID NRC-2012-0277

NRC issues draft license for Powertech's Dewey-Burdock uranium in situ leach project:
> Download Draft License No. SUA-1600 (July 31, 2012)
> Download Draft License No. SUA-1600 (Jan. 7, 2013)
> Download Draft License No. SUA-1600 (Mar. 1, 2013)

NRC suspends safety review of Powertech's application for Dewey Burdock in situ leach mine:
"NRC staff has completed its technical acceptance review of Powertech's RAI responses, submitted by letter dated December 23, 2010, during which the staff identified a significant number of deficiencies. Powertech did not provide information in sufficient detail in these responses for NRC staff to make an evaluation of public health and safety impacts.
As discussed in our February 8, 2011, phone call, the staff has stopped its review of the safety-related portion of Powertech's Dewey-Burdock application. However, the staff will continue its environmental review and Section 106 consultation process."
(NRC letter March 7, 2011 , ADAMS Acc. No. ML110670272)
See also NRC letter May 2, 2011 , ADAMS Acc. No. ML111220670
See also NRC letter May 6, 2011 , ADAMS Acc. No. ML110470245

> See also: Bill introduced in South Dakota Senate aims at halt of state regulation of in-situ leach uranium mining

On Aug. 20, 2010, NRC issued a Notice of Hearing.
> Download Notice of Hearing (ADAMS Acc. No. ML102320175)

NRC board grants hearing requests of Oglala Sioux Tribe and other petitioners on proposed Dewey-Burdock uranium mine: The Oglala Sioux Tribe and others have been named official parties in the permitting process for Powertech Uranium Corp.'s proposed mine near Edgemont. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission agreed Friday (Aug. 6) that the tribe, three individuals and two citizens' groups raised valid arguments about the Dewey Burdock project and would be allowed to weigh in. (Rapid City Journal Aug. 9, 2010)
> Download Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Memorandum and Order, Aug. 5, 2010 (ADAMS Acc. No. ML102170300)

An Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB) panel will hear oral argument June 8-9, 2010, in Custer, S.D., regarding requests from the Oglala Sioux Tribe and a group termed the Consolidated Petitioners for a hearing on the Powertech USA uranium recovery license application for sites near Custer.
> View NRC release June 2, 2010
> Download Transcript of Proceedings: June 8, 2010 (ADAMS Acc. No. ML101660721) · June 9, 2010 (ADAMS Acc. No. ML101670389)

Nuclear Regulatory Commission: Powertech (USA), Inc.; Establishment of Atomic Safety and Licensing Board
Federal Register: March 18, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 52) p. 13141 (download full text )

NRC issues Notice of Intent To Prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Dewey-Burdock In Situ Uranium Recovery Facility.
Federal Register: January 20, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 12) p. 3261-3262 (download full text )

NRC issues Notice of Opportunity for Hearing, License Application Request of Powertech (USA) Inc. Dewey-Burdock In Situ Uranium Recovery Facility.
A request for a hearing must be filed by March 8, 2010.
Federal Register: January 5, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 2) p. 467-471 (download full text )

On Aug. 12, 2009, Powertech Uranium Corp. announced that it has resubmitted its in situ leach application to the NRC for a uranium recovery license for its Dewey-Burdock Project.
> Download resubmitted license application documents (NRC ADAMS Acc. No. ML092870160)

On June 16, 2009, Powertech Uranium Corp. announced that it is voluntarily withdrawing its application from the NRC in order to provide additional information. The Company expects that it will be able to resubmit the amended license application within the next 30 days as no additional field data collection is required.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says the developer of a proposed uranium mine in southwest South Dakota near Edgemont must fix several deficiencies in its application. An NRC spokesman says Powertech Uranium Corp. will indicate within a week if it plans to withdraw the application, fix the deficiencies and resubmit it, or wait for the NRC to reject its current request. The spokesman says it's not a fatal blow, but does delay the project. (AP June 12, 2009)

On Feb. 25, 2009, Powertech Uranium Corp. announced that, through its wholly owned subsidiary Powertech (USA) Inc., it has submitted the comprehensive Uranium Recovery License application to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). On Apr. 29, 2009, NRC made the license application available for download in image scan format from its ADAMS system (Acc. No. ML091200014 ).
The application is also available for download in the original PDF format from the South Dakota DENR homepage.

Powertech Uranium Corp. apparently plans to mine the Dewey/Burdock uranium deposit by the acid in-situ leach technique (see ADAMS ML072920192 ). This would be the first commercial ISL site to be mined with acid in the United States. Groundwater restoration after acidic in-situ leaching is even more challenging than after carbonate in-situ leaching.

On August 22, 2007, NRC held a public hearing with Powertech Uranium Corp. to discuss the Pre-operational Environmental Baseline Program at the Dewey-Burdock ISL Project.
> Download Meeting Notice Aug. 8, 2007 (ADAMS ML072200166)

 

 

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