Dear Dept of Environment and Natural Resources’ Water Management Board,
Re: a water permit for the proposed Dewey Burdock uranium mine north of Edgemont
Water is and always will be precious. But can we imagine a day when it won’t be at our fingertips?
A friend and her family recently traveled through 7 countries in 17 days. In every country they have a shortage of good water. While watching Ken Burn’s special, “Dust Bowl,” one could almost “taste” and “feel” the dust. Will it happen again? Hurricane Sandy created a lot of havoc. As these climate changes happen, and as we’re part of the largest drought area in the Midwest, let’s not just imagine, let’s plan intelligently.
Should the Canadian Powertech refrigerator company be allowed to mine for uranium at the cost/waste of 47 billion gallons of our precious South Dakota water? Should we allow them to draw 551 gallons per minute from the Madison aquifer and 8,500 gallons per minute from the Inyan Kara aquifer? The process used to retrieve uranium would pollute groundwater and surface water with radioactive materials and heavy metals, making it dangerous to humans and all life.
Let’s act wisely. We already fight over oil–must we do that with precious water too? NO to uranium and gold. The need for clean renewable energy jobs grows stronger every day, so let’s not ruin life on earth, but rather create jobs that retain our appreciation for precious water.
–Leona Wieland serves on the board of the SD Peace & Justice Center