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To the Editor:

Toxic chemical alert!

The spilled chemical in West Virginia has a name, but the Center for Disease Control has no information on how it affects people. Nonetheless, lots of people are already sick.

Similarly, Powertech’s application to operate an in situ leach (ISL) uranium mine in South Dakota contains unknowns. While eight chemicals are mentioned in the application, there are 22 processing chemicals footnoted in such a cryptic way that makes it impossible to decipher what they are.

They are not only unnamed, but their proposed use, degree of toxicity and affect on our state’s citizens, water and soil is withheld from our decision-makers and us ordinary folks.

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Will South Dakotans and our legislators require full disclosure from Powertech? Or will we wait until there is an unintended accident, as happened in West Virginia, before we demand the details we’re entitled to?

Our legislators must take back the oversight responsibilities they ceded to the federal government in Senate Bill 158. They must pass strong laws that protect us from threats to our health.

Will all our elected officials love the well-being of our citizens enough to require full accountability from mining enterprises now, before it’s too late? 

Sylvia Lambert

Interior

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