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Uranium Exploration Permit on Hold

April 19, 2007 - Thurs: Archeological Hearing 1:00 PM (CT) on 155 Uranium Exploratory Drill Sites in the southern Black Hills SD Board of Minerals and Environment, 523 E. Capitol, Pierre, SD

Rapid City, SD (USA)- A South Dakota state circuit court judge ordered the archaeological portion of a uranium exploration permit back to the SD Board of Minerals and Environment, the same Board who admits they sent the State Archaeologist to the wrong place. The permit they issued is on hold until a valid permit is granted, although opponents want an injunction until the appeal process is finished.

April 6, 2007

"Court Remands Archaeological Portion to Board"

"Uranium Exploration Permit on Hold"

Rapid City, SD (USA)- A South Dakota state circuit court judge ordered the archaeological portion of a uranium exploration permit back to the SD Board of Minerals and Environment, the same Board who admits they sent the State Archaeologist to the wrong place. The permit they issued is on hold until a valid permit is granted, although opponents want an injunction until the appeal process is finished.

Two volunteer environmental organizations, ACTion for the Environment and Defenders of the Black Hills filed an appeal to the state circuit court, according to the SD Administrative Procedures Act, after attending a hearing with the SD Board of Minerals and Environment on January 17 and 18, 2007. The groups were appealing a decision by the Board granting a permit to Powertech (USA) Inc., a Canadian company, to drill 155 additional deep exploratory wells in the southwestern Black Hills for uranium. The company already has 4,000 wells in this specific area. The Black Hills are considered sacred to many member of the Defenders organization, and also to many Native American nations from the North American continent.

The two organizations filed the appeal citing due process of law and equal protection of the law from the South Dakota laws and the US Constitution. Some of the issues presented to the court in the appeal are:

    -the signing of the permit by the Board prior to the plaintiffs being given the opportunity to present their objections,

    -the failure to consider the plaintiffs written exhibits that were given to the Board,

    -the failure to provide interpreters in the Lakota language for two of the elderly members of Defenders of the Black Hills, or for the Board to be able to understand the concerns of these elders,

    -and the Board‘s practice of allowing the mining company to present data on the quality of the underground water when the mining process will contaminate the water presenting a conflict of interest. It would be in the mining companies best interest for the water to already be contaminated with uranium and radioactive materials.


W. Cindy Gillis from The Law Offices of Mario Gonzalez is the lead counsel for the Defenders of the Black Hills and ACTion for the Environment courtesy of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. The Tribe has already experienced pollution from past uranium mining in the southwestern Black Hills.

The Board is represented by SD Deputy Attorney General Roxanne Giedd, and Powetech (USA) Inc. is represented by Max Main, attorney from Belle Fourche, SD. The Board will conduct a hearing at 10:00 (CDST) on April 19, 2007, at the SD Department of Environment and Natural Resources, 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD.

Contact: Charmaine White Face, Coordinator, Defenders of the Black Hills, PO Box 2003, Rapid City, SD 57709, Phone: xxx- 399-1868 Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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