FUTURE OF GREAT PLAINS WATER EXAMINED IN GOV'T HEARING ON URANIUM MINE PERMIT RENEWAL
FUTURE OF GREAT PLAINS WATER EXAMINED- GOV'T HEARING ON URANIUM MINE PERMIT RENEWAL CONTACT: Vic Camp, Owe Aku
20 AUGUST 2015
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission Atomic Safety and Licensing Board will hold a hearing Aug. 24-28th 2015 in Crawford, Nebraska on challenges to the license renewal for Cameco's Crow Butte uranium recovery facility near Crawford. The board is the independent body within the NRC that conducts adjudicatory hearings and renders decisions on legal challenges to licensing actions.
After a ten-year battle to stop the uranium mine from renewing and expanding it's operations, experts and lawyers representing local residents, Native Americans, the Western Nebraska Resources Council and the Oglala Sioux Tribe will have their opportunity to testify in front of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The plaintiffs intervened in 2008 to stop the uranium mining permit renewal. Evidence presented will address contentions which challenge, among other things: the adequacy of the evaluation and protection of historical resources at the site, impact on Native sacred sites and the NRC's analysis of the facility's impacts on surface water, groundwater, and the ecosystem.
The board will hear arguments on four technical contentions and five related to the environmental review. The NRC renewed the facility license in 2014 in advance of the hearing, with an expiration date of Nov. 5, 2024.
DATES: 8/24-8/28/15 FROM 9:30- 6:00 PM or until all evidence is heard
LOCATION: Crawford Community Center, 1005 1st St., in Crawford, NebraskaDebra White Plume, a Lakota grandmother, Director of Owe Aku (Bring Back the Way) and lead plaintiff says:
Indeed, this environmental issue truly goes beyond the boundaries of race, county lines, townships, state borders -- it effects all of life in this area, and can reach far into the future generations of all living things: the two-legged, the four-legged, the winged, the standing silent nation (plants), those that crawl and swim, and our Sacred Water, Sacred Land, and Sacred Air. For the Lakota Oyate (Lakota People) a clean environment is a matter of life and death. To expose our people to the deadly toxins of uranium mining is a threat to our survival as a people… this is environmental racism.
Colleen Bennan, local resident and Sisterhood Water Watch co-founder says:
I was born in Dawes County, raised in rural Sioux County. Crawford is my hometown. I live in Chadron today, just 24 miles down the road. I still have family and friends there. I don't feel unsafe in my little town. I walk with intention, my head is up, my eyes and ears are open. I oppose this foreign company and its practices. I am not afraid. I welcome anyone to come spend time with open minds."
Members of the public and media are welcome to observe the evidentiary hearing, but testimony will be limited to the parties, lawyers and witnesses. Arrive at least 15 minutes early for security screening. Videotaping is not permitted inside, but plaintiffs, community members, local residents and others working to stop uranium mining in the region will be available for interviews outside.
Additional information follows.