Information Services - December 2012 Press Releases


DENR Issues Notice of Recommendation on Powertech Ground Water Discharge Plan



DENR Issues Notice of Recommendation on Powertech Ground Water Discharge Plan


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, December 17, 2012

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Kim Smith, 773-3153


PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has issued a recommendation for conditional approval on an application from Powertech (USA) Inc. for a ground water discharge plan related to land applying treated wastewater at a proposed in situ leach mining facility in Custer and Fall River counties.


Petitions to intervene on the department’s recommendation must be filed with the department’s Ground Water Quality Program and postmarked by Jan. 18. If petitioned, a hearing on the department’s recommendation will be heard before the state Water Management Board sometime early in 2013.


The Powertech ground water discharge plan is one of four applications Powertech has submitted to DENR. The other applications are for a large-scale mine permit and two water right permits. Powertech must also seek an operating license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and necessary underground injection control permits from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


The ground water discharge plan will consist of a facility construction permit, a ground water discharge permit, and a water quality variance. DENR’s recommendation includes conditions related to land application effluent requirements, effluent, soil, stream and ground water monitoring and reporting requirements, application rate requirements, runoff prevention, contingency plan requirements, and technical revision authorization.


For more information about the ground water discharge plan application and department’s conditions, visit


Guidance for petitions to intervene can be found in Administrative Rules of South Dakota 74:50:2:02 or by visiting


Powertech seeks a proposed uranium in situ leach mine and processing facility about 13 miles northwest of Edgemont. The proposed mining area encompasses about 10,580 acres. Most of the acres are private land in Custer and Fall River counties. About 240 acres of Bureau of Land Management land are included in the permit boundary. Production is estimated at 1 million pounds of uranium oxide per year for 20 years.


For more information about the potential impacts of the proposed mine, the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission is accepting comments until Jan. 7 on a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Links to the commission’s draft EIS are provided on the DENR website at


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