The act requires tribal consultation in compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act before NRC staff approval of an environmental impact statement to license. The tribe contends, not only in these administrative hearings, but also in court, that the federal government violated its own laws by inadequate consideration of tribal cultural resources and water concerns in issuing a license even before the environmental impact statement process was completed on the project in question. The project is being promoted by license-holder Powertech USA Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Azarga Uranium Corp., which is carrying on a decade-long foreign crusade to clear all the U.S. regulatory hurdles that would allow the undertaking of South Dakota’s first-ever in situ mining and milling of uranium.
The US EPA issues revised draft permits for our Dewey Burdock Project - Another positive step to concluding all required permitting arrangements! $AZZ $AZZ.TO $AZZUF #uranium pic.twitter.com/g28NzJvIXj— Azarga Uranium (@AzargaUranium) August 28, 2019
The activity would entail chemically leaching the radioactive toxic heavy metal from the rock in the underground water-table and processing it above-ground. The product would be trucked out of state to refinement facilities, making it available for use its ultimate destination, the production of nuclear power and weapons. The polluted water would be pumped back underground or sprayed on the surface. The slated project site is located on 1868 Ft. Laramie Treaty land in Custer and Fall River counties adjacent to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and upstream on Cheyenne River tributaries, a factor that motivates appellants who have joined together as the Consolidated Intervenors. Their numbers include members of the American Horse, White Plume, Afraid of Bear, and Red Cloud tiospayes, or extended Lakota families, who “possess important oral histories that pertain to the discussion of cultural resources going on between the tribe and the NRC staff,” according to their filings. “None of these families was consulted in connection with the NRC staff’s efforts,” they note.
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Read the rest of the story on Native Sun News Today: OST ‘fighting back’ to protect Black Hills from uranium mine