Guest Editorialist Uriah Luallin says this photo from Edgemont is a reminder of past uranium mining issues.

Submitted photo by Uriah Luallin

Guest Editorial

Imagine for a moment that Fall River stops running. That Wind Cave or Jewell Cave floods or caves in. That historical buildings like the VA or downtown Hot Springs are severely damaged by earthquake. While these things could happen naturally the likelihood of this scenario increases with high pressure injection wells.

The libertarian approach is clearly defined in rightful liberty by Thomas Jefferson. Everyones Rights are bounded by the equal rights of those that surround us. Government is formed to protect the rights of the individual be it one, or everyone. Property usage should be held to the same standard. The difficult key is determining when usage constitutes damage to others.

While we have a tendency to trust “scientific” data that something is “safe” it has not always been reliable or encompassing enough in its scope of research. Caution should be the tenant, particularly in something that could have long range impact. The last time we had uranium mining in this county was a disaster. I point to the fact that when the tailings were discovered to be hazardous and eminently costly to mitigate the tailings were pushed into the Cheyenne river. The impact of which will be felt for many generations to come. In the end the corporation left the carnage to the taxpayers to clean up. The result was 4 million tons of radioactive material buried near Edgemont. see photos.

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While I support new invention, and economic increase, CAUTION is crucial. The use of water with components to extract radioactive material then extracting Uranium from the water needs to be failsafe. Water is not only a limited but a precious commodity of far greater value to the community than the economic value of uranium. The known repercussions of increased seismic activity causing damaging earthquakes as a result of pressurized injection wells is certainly a concern. The possible use of existing uncapped/unplugged wells as well as new wells for disposal of waste that they are not intended for is a huge concern. Corporate business, Powertech/Azarga a Chinese based company’s application for a permit to drill Class 3 wells for In Situ mining by high pressure injection wells as well as disposal wells for waste in the Dewey Burdock site of Fall River County is definitely a cause for concern. This permit has no sunset and can be sold. Corporations cannot be trusted to operate in a self regulating mode because its purpose is for profit and not the respect of other private citizens rights or the conscientious good of humanity as a whole.

Take the time to research what is happening and voice your concerns now. If you have a well in the Minnelusa, Inyan Kara or Madison aquifer submit your concerns by writing to the EPA or speaking publicly at the hearings. Pandora’s box once open cannot be contained.

Uriah Luallin is a Hot Springs resident interested in local happenings.

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