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April - 2014 Special Newsletter

Invitation to an Earth Day Media Event

You are cordially invited to attend an Earth Day Media Event to announce the opening of a Campaign for the Clean Up of all the Abandoned Uranium Mines in the United States.

More than 10,000 abandoned uranium mines (AUMs) are located in the United States, primarily in the Western States, and more than 10 million people live within a 50 mile radius of an abandoned uranium mine.

South Dakota has at least 272 abandoned open-pit uranium mines.  There are 169 AUMs located in the southwestern Black Hills and 103 in the northwest corner near Buffalo, SD.

The Northern Great Plains Region of Montana, Wyoming, North and South Dakota contains more than 2,000 plus AUMs.  The health effects are tremendous.

Defenders of the Black Hills is hosting a site visit for representatives from a number of organizations:  Popular Resistance, Indigenous Action, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and Veterans for Peace.   The Cheyenne River is greatly impacted by AUM’s as are the people of Red Shirt Village, on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.  Signs will be placed near the bridge warning of this radioactive river.

The Event will take place near the Cheyenne River bridge on SD Highway 40 which is 15 miles southeast of Hermosa, SD, beginning at 10:00 AM, Tuesday, April 22, 2014.

Plan on arriving at 9:30 and bring your own chairs.  A potluck Lunch will follow the event weather permitting.  Salads and desserts are needed.  Sandwich makings, chips, and water will be provided by Defenders of the Black Hills.

For more information contact Charmaine White Face, Coordinator, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

 

Bear Butte Forum
The SD Department of Game, Fish, and Parks, which manages Bear Butte State Park, will be hosting a Bear Butte Forum on Saturday, April 26, 2014, from 8:30 to 12:00 noon, MST, at the Sturgis Community Center, 1401 Lazelle St., Sturgis, SD.  This is a chance to get an update on what is happening at and near Bear Butte, and also a time to share any of your ideas for improvement and protection of this sacred mountain.  The meeting is open to the public.

 


Hearing to Revise Rules Regarding the Clean Air Act

The SD Board of Minerals and Environment will hold a public hearing in the Matthew Environmental Education and Training Center, 523 East Capitol Avenue, Pierre, SD, on April 17, 2014, at 10:00 AM, Central Time, to consider proposed amendments to Article 74:09 of SD Compiled Laws.  Article 74:09 is the Procedures for the Board of Minerals and Environment.  The changes are to be added to Chapter 74:09:01 Contested case procedure, and are as follows:

74:09:01:20 Board member conflict of interest

74:09:01:21 Board member potential conflict of interests

ARSD 74:09:01:20. Board member conflict of interest. A board member who is personally related to a party involved in a contested case hearing by two degrees of consanguinity, who has a direct financial interest in a party involved in a contested case hearing through employment or by contract, or whose spouse is employed by or directly contracts with a party involved in a contested case hearing, may not participate in a contested case proceeding concerning that party. The member shall make an oral statement of recusal on the record at the initiation of the hearing in the contested case. A recused member may not participate in board discussions or decision-making regarding that contested case proceeding.

ARSD 74:09:01:21. Board member potential conflicts of interests. A potential conflict of interest is an indirect financial interest, or a personal relationship or another interest in a party involved in a contested case hearing or enforcement hearing that is different from that of the general public, that a reasonable person would believe might result in bias or prejudgment of a contested case hearing. Board members shall disclose any potential conflict of interest in a contested case proceeding on the record at the initiation of the hearing, or during the hearing if they become aware of the existence of a potential conflict of interest. Upon its own motion or the motion of a party, the Board may recuse a member with a potential conflict of interest if it determines that the potential conflict of interest raises an unacceptable risk of bias or prejudgment in the contested case proceeding.

In order for South Dakota to continue to manage the Clean Air Act, the Board must meet the CAA requirements of Section 128, and add these two new provisions to the Rules.  Your opinion counts.  The SD Board of Minerals is supposed to work for you.  If you have any changes you would like to make to the above recommendations, please bring your changes to the hearing on April, 17, 2014, or mail them by April 16, 2014, to:

Kyrik Rombough, Engineering Manager I,  SD Department of Environment and Natural Resources,  523 East Capitol, Joe Foss Building,  Pierre, SD 57501

 


 

Rare Earth Elements Mine Planned Near Sacred Bear Lodge (AKA Devils Tower)
The Black Hills National Forest Service will be taking comments in their scoping process for a planned Rare Earth Elements Mine to be dug in an open pit manner on Bull Hill near Bear Lodge (also known as Devils Tower). Rare Earth elements are radioactive and their waste will also be radioactive.  This is a very dangerous operation being planned near a sacred site.

This entire area near Bear Lodge is a very sacred area to many nations, not just the Sioux nation.  Your presence at one of the Scoping Meetings and your comments will help the Forest Service to decide on allowing this Mine to proceed.  Scoping meetings by the Forest Service are planned as follows:

Monday, April 14, 2014 - Crook County Court House, Community Room,  309 Cleveland St, Sundance, Wyoming, or

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - Upton Community Center, 917 N. Highway 116, Upton, WY

Although this is a long drive for many people, your presence and comments will help with the protection of these sacred places.

In addition, comments with your name and address can be submitted in writing by April 30, 2014, and sent to:

Bear Lodge Project EIS,  C/O Jeanette Timm, Project Coordinator,  Bearlodge Ranger District,  PO Box 680,  Sundance, WY 82729-0680   or fax to 307-283-3727

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

 


 

Abandoned uranium Mines Report to Congress

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 mandates the U.S. Department of Energy to prepare a report on abandoned uranium mines (AUM).  Section 3151 of the Act states:

“The Secretary of Energy, in consultation with the Secretary of the Interior and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, shall undertake a review of, and prepare a report on, abandoned uranium mines in the United States that provided uranium ore for atomic energy defense activities of the United States.”  The DOE Office of Legacy Management will be writing the report.

If you wish to send information, comment, or ask questions, please contact:

Legacy Management Support Public Affairs,  US DOE, Office of Legacy Management, 2597 Legacy Way, Grand Junction, CO 81503  or email:   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

This office, Office of Legacy Management, however, is only writing the report and will not be cleaning up the mines.  If you have any comments about the 272 abandoned uranium mines just in South Dakota, please send your comments to the address above as soon as possible.  The report is due in Congress in July.

If you wish more information on all of the abandoned uranium mines in the United States, on the internet please go to www.cleanupthemines.org and look up the Fact Sheet.  If you wish a written paper copy of the Abandoned Uranium Mines Fact, please send us a letter to AUM Fact Sheet, Defenders of the Black Hills, PO Box 2003, Rapid City, SD 57709.  We will gladly send it. Thank you.

Compiled and submitted by Charmaine White Face, Coordinator

 


Schedule of Events

April 14, 2014 - Monday -  6:30 - 8:30 PM, Scoping meeting with US Forest Service about proposed radioactive mine near sacred Bear Lodge at Crook County Court House, 309 Cleveland St., Sundance, WY

April 15, 2014 - Tuesday -  6:30 - 8:30 PM, Scoping meeting with US Forest Service about proposed radioactive mine near sacred Bear Lodge at Upton Community Center, 917 N. Hwy 116, Upton, WY

April 17, 2014 - Thursday -  Public Hearing for the SD Board of Minerals and Environment to comply with the Clean Air Act.  Hearing at 10:00 AM, Central Time, at the Matthew Environmental Education and Training Center, 523 East Capitol Avenue, Pierre, SD

April 22, 2014 - Tuesday - Earth Day Media Event,  10:00 AM, at the Cheyenne River bridge on SD Highway 40 near Red Shirt Village on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

April 26, 2014, - Saturday -  Bear Butte Forum from 8:30 to 12:00 noon, MST, at the Sturgis Community Center, 1401 Lazelle St., Sturgis, SD.

April 30, 2014 Comments due to U.S. Forest Service to protect sacred Bear Lodge

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