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SUMMERVILLE: State lawmakers sold out to Powertech
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SUMMERVILLE: State lawmakers sold out to Powertech

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South Dakotans take pride in defending “states rights.” I’ve read many articles in the Rapid City Journal, some written by state legislators, denigrating the federal government.

So, why would people want to rely on the NRC and EPA to protect their health from uranium mining? Time after time, the Feds grant exemptions and ease safety standards to keep companies in business and out of trouble at the expense of citizens’ health and well-being.

When Rep. Lance Russell , Mr. Mark Hollenbeck and Mr. Larry Mann created SB 158, they were assisted by some of West River’s legislators in Sen. Rampleberg, Rep. Verchio, Rep. Lust and Rep. Gosch. New Senate majority leader Tim Rave and ex-speaker of the House Val Rausch helped.

They hoodwinked the Legislature by coming up with a lame reason for getting SB 158 passed (claiming it was duplication) and thus stripped the state DENR’s authority, leaving citizens with no recourse or protection. Please realize, citizens can’t call up the EPA in Denver (they have five states to monitor with a small staff) and ask for immediate help because one’s well is depleted or contaminated. The NRC is in Washington, D.C. Need I say more? Call Gov. Daugaard now.

— Rick Summerville, Rapid City

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