Friday, May 19, 2017

SD Board of Minerals and Environment more about minerals than environment

The Board of Minerals and Environment is an arm of the South Dakota Republican Party that ceded regulatory authority to the US Environmental Protection Agency for uranium mining after the state's moocher state legislature realized there is no competent oversight from state agencies.

Acknowledging there will always be acid mine drainage the board just met in Pierre to announce its plans to continue the war on the Black Hills Gilt Edge Superfund site as EPA becomes a tool of the extraction industry.

Bob Mercer sat through the meeting so we didn't have to then filed three stories.
The problem is acid mine drainage that occurs when sulfide-bearing rocks are exposed to oxygen. The acid drainage led Brohm mining company to walk away from Gilt Edge in 1999, in the process forfeiting its state bond of about $6 million. South Dakota becomes completely responsible for the cost of managing the Gilt Edge site after EPA completes the cleanup. [Mercer 1]
Under the General Mining Act of 1872 Canadian miners have carte blanche to rape the Black Hills, so they are. Brohm was an Australian company recruited by a Republican governor who gutted environmental protection in South Dakota.

A European miner is cutting a fat hog on stolen Black Hills ground near Lead.
Wharf Resources produced more than 100,000 ounces apiece of gold and silver last year from its Golden Reward mine in the Black Hills, environmental manager Matt Zietlow said Thursday. [Mercer 2]
The earth haters also announced a plan to resume moving 'waste rock' from the Sanford Underground Lab in the former Homestake Mine to Lead's Open Cut.
The rock would cross over Main Street, aka U.S. Highway 385, and spill into the Open Cut next to the basketball courts. The new conveyor system would retrace part of the path of the old aerial tramway that, while now gone, had carried ore for decades o’er the streets of Lead. [Mercer 3]
EPA has been hearing public comment about a uranium mine in Fall River County. It's largely window dressing for the industry.

Homestake Mining Company has a Superfund site in New Mexico, too.
Because of the antiquated 1872 Mining Law, companies take federal (read: publicly owned, by you, the taxpayer) minerals with no royalty payments and are generally allowed to operate on any federal lands they select, regardless of public opposition. Even more heinous, new mega-mines are allowed to be built even though it’s clearly understood that they will have to treat acidic, metal-laden runoff for thousands of years at extreme cost. Not only are we allowing companies to take minerals for free, but we’re telling them it’s OK to create the same type of permanent water treatment liabilities that polluted the Animas. [Major Colorado mine waste spill highlights urgency for comprehensive mining law reform]
Logging out the basin for the Grizzly Gulch Tailings Disposal Project above Pluma and Deadwood in 1977 helped to launch this blogger's love of the Black Hills.

Regulations are protections. As the war on the West escalates South Dakota has given up on environmental protection and self-reliance and yielded to moral hazard.

No comments: