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(SD)-NRC Hearing Begins On Proposed Edgemont-Area Uranium Mine

By: John Axtell Posted at: 08/28/2019 11:29 PM
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - The federal Atomic Safety and Licensing Board, part of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, is holding a hearing in Rapid City on the proposed Dewey-Burdock uranium mine north of Edgemont.

     The hearing on the proposal from Anzarga Uranium, formerly Powertech is scheduled to run through Friday. Dewey-Burdock would use the in-situ injection mining method used at the Crow Butte mine near Crawford.

      The NRC has approved permits for the mine, contingent on the resolution of a challenge by the Oglala Sioux Tribe based on the mine's potential impact on places of Native American cultural, historical and religious significance. 
 
     The tribe argues the NRC environmental study of the project needs to be redone because it did not adequately consider those questions. NRC staff and Anzarga say the agency did everything within its power to study the potential impacts.
 
     If the licensing board sides with the NRC and Azarga, the last remaining hurdle for an NRC license would be resolved.

      In a related development, the EPA says it will hold a hearing on Saturday, October 5th in Hot Springs on its revised draft permits for the mine. The hearing will run from 9-till-noon and 2-till-6:00 at the Mueller Center. The public comment period runs until October 10th.

     The EPA permits are for the injection mining wells and a well that would inject treated waste fluids deep underground. The agency is also re-proposing an aquifer exemption approval

     Azarga President and CEO Blake Steele calls it a "significant step" towards the issuance of the final EPA permits and continues to advance the Dewey Burdock Project towards development.

     The project still needs state permits as well. The South Dakota Dept of Environment and Natural Resources staff has recommended approval, but the hearings on the state permit have tabled unless and until the federal permits are issued.

     Steele says the progress on all 3 sets of permits has Anzarga expecting to publish the results of an updated preliminary economic assessment of the Dewey Burdock project this fall.


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