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Most of public comments opposed to proposed uranium mine expansion

Most of public comments opposed to  proposed uranium mine expansion

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board will be in Crawford on Tues and Wed for a formal public hearing on the proposed expansion to the Marsland area of the Crow Butte Resources uranium mine, but the panel took public comments Sunday at Chadron State College.

Nearly 20 people testified with Dawes County Commissioner Jake Stewart the only one speaking in favor of the expansion. Stewart said he grew up only a few miles from the proposed mine and called Crow Butte “a good neighbor” who has had an important economic footprint in Dawes County.

All but three of the 20 speakers were Native Americans, and they focused on a new and more in-depth cultural survey regarding the proposed expansion. It involves 11 individual mines affecting about 600 acres with in-situ injection production for processing at the existing mine’s main facility. Former tribal cultural preservation officer Shelby Ross said the lack of a cultural study would continue a process of “erasing our footprint, our history.”

At the formal hearing, only Crow Butte’s parent company Cameco Resources, NRC staff, and the Oglala Sioux Tribe will be able to call witness with no input from the general public.

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