The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is requesting public comment by May 19, 2017 on two Underground Injection Control (UIC) Draft Area Permits and one associated proposed aquifer exemption decision for the Dewey-Burdock uranium in-situ recovery (ISR) site located near Edgemont, South Dakota, under the authority of the Safe Drinking Water Act and UIC program regulations. The Dewey-Burdock site is located in southwestern Custer County and northwestern Fall River County, on the Wyoming/South Dakota border.

The EPA Region 8 UIC Program is issuing two Draft UIC Area Permits to Powertech (USA) Inc., Suite #140, 5575 DTC Parkway, Greenwood Village, Colorado 80111, for injection activities related to uranium recovery. One is a UIC Class III Area Permit for injection wells for the ISR of uranium; the second is a UIC Class V Area Permit for deep injection wells that will be used to dispose of ISR process waste fluids into the Minnelusa Formation after treatment to meet radioactive waste and hazardous waste standards. The EPA is also proposing an aquifer exemption approval in connection with the Class III Area Permit to exempt the uranium-bearing portions of the Inyan Kara Group aquifers.

How to Comment: Written comments must be received by email, fax or mail sent to:

Valois Shea (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Fax: 303-312-6741

U.S. EPA Region 8

Mail Code: 8WP-SUI

1595 Wynkoop Street

Denver, CO  80202-1129

Written comments must be received by midnight Mountain Time on May 19, 2017.

Public Hearing Information: The public may also provide written and/or verbal comments during the EPA public hearings. The EPA will hold the following public hearings at the times, dates and locations listed below:

Thursday, April 27, 2017 from 4:00 to 8:30 p.m. (with a break from 6:00 to 6:30 p.m.)

Niobrara Lodge

803 US Highway 20 

Valentine, Nebraska 69201

Monday-Tuesday, May 8-9, 2017, from 1:00 to 8:00 p.m. (with a break from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.)

The Best Western Ramkota Hotel

2111 N. LaCrosse Street

Rapid City, South Dakota 57701

Wednesday, May 10, 2017, from 1:00 to 8:00 p.m. (with a break from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.)

The Mueller Center

801 S 6th Street

Hot Springs, South Dakota 57747

Thursday, May 11, 2017, from 1:00 to 8:00 p.m. (with a break from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.)

St. James Catholic Church

310 3rd Avenue

Edgemont, South Dakota 57735

Information Available for Review: All information submitted by the applicant and generated by the EPA during permit application review is available for public review as part of the administrative record and will be available on the EPA Region 8 UIC Program website: Available documents include the permit applications, draft permits, fact sheet documents and other supporting documents. A paper version of the administrative record will be available for public viewing in the EPA Region 8 Library located at 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, excluding federal holidays. All visitors to the Region 8 office must show a picture ID such as a current driver’s license. Visitors must also register at the guard desk in the lobby before proceeding to the Library. The administrative record will be available for public review as of March 6, 2017.

In addition to seeking comments on the Class III and V draft area permits, the EPA is seeking public comment on the identification of traditional cultural properties at the Dewey-Burdock Project Site Area of Potential Effects, on the potential adverse effects of the proposed project, and on measures to avoid, minimize, or mitigate potential adverse effects on historic and traditional cultural properties pursuant to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and 36 CFR § 800.2(d) and § 800.6(a)(4). 

The EPA is also seeking comment on two options for approval of the aquifer exemption that Powertech requested related to the Class III permit application. The two options are discussed in the Aquifer Exemption draft Record of Decision available on the EPA Region 8 UIC Program website.

The EPA has performed an environmental justice (EJ) analysis for the Dewey-Burdock UIC permitting actions and is seeking comment on the draft EJ analysis document.

Published: March 8, 2017