SD Board Denies Powertech Request To Resume State Permit Process For Edgemont Uranium Mine


     The South Dakota Water Management Board has unanimously denied a request by Powertech Azarga for the state to resume the permit process for its proposed Dewey-Burdock uranium mine north of Edgemont.

      The permit process began in 2008, but was halted at Powertech’s request in 2013 until federal permits were approved. Federal approval came last year and the company wants to move forward now on the state side.

     The Water Management Board heard testimony Wednesday from Powertech, the formal opponents recognized before the process was halted, and from the Dept of Agriculture and Natural Resources. 

      Assistant Attorney General Ann Mines Bailey, legal counsel for 2 of the department’s programs. told the board it should wait until appeals of the federal permit are completed.

Mines Bailey also said the timetable requested by Powertech is too short, given the 8 years of inaction on the state permits. 

Water Board member Rodney Freeman agreed with Mines Bailey about waiting to avoid the possibility of wasting time and money if the federal permit approvals are overturned.

Not resuming action on the state permits now was characterized in some testimony as “kicking it down the road,” but Freeman said this is one time that’s the thing to do.

The Water Management Board did instruct its staff to give it an update on Powertech a year from now.