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Senate Panel Rejects Uranium Mining Bill

FILE: Uranium Mine, Wyoming

PIERRE – A South Dakota Senate committee has rejected a plan to restore some of the state’s permitting authority over a proposed uranium mine.

The Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee voted 7-1 to kill the bill after committee members said they see no need for the state to duplicate federal regulatory programs.

The committee hearing focused on Powertech Uranium Corp.’s proposed uranium mine near Edgemont. It would pump groundwater into the underground ore deposits to dissolve the uranium. The water would be pumped back to the surface, where the uranium would be extracted.

The Legislature two years ago suspended state rules on permitting such uranium mines. That means federal agencies will decide if the mine gets a license and can inject water underground.

The state controls water rights permits.

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