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Number of things you can do to help


Hello Defenders,

A number of things are going on regarding the Black Hills, and the dirty air that is coming down on top of us from North Dakota. We can do something about this, if only by our presence or our letters letting the media and the powers-that-be know our positions. Please consider participating in whatever way you can by attending the hearing, writing a letter to the editor of your local paper, and writing comments to the government agencies.

Please will you pass this information on to others. We don't have to spend so much doing snail mail if you all can help let others know.

Thank you.

Sent by Charmaine White Face, Coordinator



1. The Environmental Protection Agency is holding hearings about regional haze. The haze comes from the coal strip mining and coal fired power plants all over North Dakota. The state agencies and the industries are for the power plants and against EPA doing anything to make the air cleaner. That dirty air doesn't stop at the North Dakota state line but comes down on all of us as it moves south and east. The US government further does not monitor or regulate radioactive pollution in coal, so not only does the haze contain carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur oxides but also uranium oxides. Check out radiation in coal at Nuclear Information Resource Service.

Please consider sending a letter to the EPA asking them for stronger regulations regarding the regional haze in North Dakota as that haze contains many pollutants that are very harmful to health. It is not just about the visual aspect as the haze is breathed in by everyone as it moves with the winds. Studies by the Indian Health Service show that this Northern Great Plains Region has the highest rate of lung cancer in the country. Could it be from constantly breathing these pollutants?

Send your letters before Nov. 21, 2011, to:

Docket ID No. EPA-R08-OAR-2010-0406
EPA Region 8
1595 Wynkoop Street
Denver CO 80202-1196

Or email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

For more information call Gail Fallon at EPA's Region 8 Air Program at 303-312-6281

2. The Pennington County Commissioners are going to be considering another helipad to be built in the Black Hills. These helicopters give rides to tourists in the summer, but the constant noise level during the summer time also has an adverse affect on birds and wildlife.

Please attend the Penning County Commissioners meeting at 9:00 AM on Nov. 14, 2011, to voice your concerns about more development and disturbance in the sacred Black Hills.

3. The South Dakota Board of Minerals and Environment has scheduled two hearings on Nov. 16 & 17, 2011, in Pierre.

A. The first hearing on Wed., Nov. 16, 2011, is to consider proposed revisions to the state's Oil and Gas Conservation Rules in Administrative Rules of South Dakota Article 74:10.  If you go to the SD DENR website, you will find more information.

A copy of the proposed rules changes are online at:


Or for a hardcopy call xxx-773-4201.

The hearing will be held at 10:15 a.m. CST in the Matthew Environmental Education and Training Center, Joe Foss Building, 523 East Capitol Avenue, Pierre, South Dakota.

Written comments but be sent by Nov. 9, 2011, to be considered. They can be sent via email to Mike Lees at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or Bob Townsend at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Or by postal mail to: Mike Lees, or Bob Townsend,

PMB 2020
Joe Foss Building
523 East Capitol
Pierre, SD 57501-3182

B. A Contested Hearing before the Board of Minerals will be held on Nov. 16, 17, and 18, 2011, beginning at 9:00 a.m. CST regarding Wharf Resources large scale mine permit hearing. Wharf Resources plans on expanding their heap leach gold mining operation near Lead and Terry Peak Ski Resort, and a cemetery.


Mission Statement

"Defenders of the Black Hills is a group of volunteers without racial or tribal boundaries whose mission is to preserve, protect, and restore the environment of the 1851 and 1868 Treaty Territories, Treaties made between the United States and the Great Sioux Nation."

Speaking about radioactive fallout, the late President John F. Kennedy said,

"Even then, the number of children and grandchildren with cancer in their bones, with leukemia in their blood, or with poison in their lungs might seem statistically small to some, in comparison with natural health hazards. But this is not a natural health hazard and it is not a statistical issue. The loss of even one human life, or the malformation of even one baby who may be born long after we are gone, should be of concern to us all. Our children and grandchildren are not merely statistics toward which we can be indifferent."

July 26, 1963 upon signing the ban on above ground nuclear tests