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Radioactive Legacy: Edgemont-area uranium mining

Radioactive Legacy: Edgemont-area uranium mining

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Four decades after its uranium mining boom ended, the town of Edgemont in southwestern South Dakota remains scarred by abandoned mines, millions of pounds of buried radioactive waste, and persistent human health concerns.

The story of that boom and bust, and the role of a large corporation that mined the land and then disappeared, has been largely forgotten. But its relevance has returned as federal officials consider a clean-up plan, and as a new type of uranium mining operation for roughly the same area awaits permitting.

Will the town, its people and its environment fare better this time? Perhaps, if the lessons of the past are uncovered and heeded. Here, in five parts, is a Rapid City Journal special report on the untold story of Edgemont’s radioactive legacy.

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