Crow Butte, seen from the south, has historical and cultural significance for tribal opponents of uranium mining at the landmark in northeastern Nebraska.

 The Oglala Sioux Tribe and activists scored a win, when federal administrative judges ruled that Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff has failed to take “a hard look” at cultural resources in recommending renewal of a uranium mining license for Crow Butte Mine, near here. The decision delays permitting.

The tribe, intervening in the license renewal application for the mine in Dawes County, Nebraska, adjacent to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, argued that the staff recommended approval in violation of its rights under the National Historic Preservation Act and National Environmental Protection Act, or NEPA.

Resolving in favor of the tribe’s argument, an oversight panel established by the Atomic Licensing and Safety Board ruled: “The NRC staff has not met its identification obligations” under the two laws, “nor has the NRC staff, in its environmental assessment, undertaken a hard look under NEPA at cultural resources within the license area.”

The board requested the staff “remedy its noncompliance,” in other words: go back to the drawing board and address tribal concerns over historical and cultural sites of relevance before any permitting.

An attorney for interveners, David Frankel thanked people who have supported the legal costs of the intervention.

Nancy Kile, an Oglala activist in the Sisterhood to Protect Sacred Water, which is based in the mining impacted town of Crawford, Nebraska, said the ruling is a case of the oversight panel making government personnel follow the rules they should have initially.

“Woo hoo!” she said: “A federal agency determined a foreign company did not properly consult with First Nations.”

Crow Butte Mine is a decades-old project of the world’s largest publicly traded uranium mining company, the Canadian Cameco Corp., which is facing federal tax-dodging allegations in its home country and an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service over $32 million in U.S. back taxes. The company is reducing uranium wellfield development at its Wyoming operations, as its stock values are crashing.

Responses to "No Uranium Mining On Sacred Land: Big Win For Pine Ridge Reservation"

  1. Unknown says:

    YESSSSS, Chaulk one up for the good guys!! So what's happening with the outside company trying to do the same thing after bribing the senate members with financial compensation to mine copper in special treaty lands??

  2. Anonymous says:

    Fantastic!!! All of our water protecting is paying off!!!

  3. tara says:

    please bosses go for a training that teaches you to go beyond greed, thank you...

  4. Unknown says:

    Yes!!!! A great victory!!! We need more!

  5. Unknown says:

    That's great

  6. Rococo says:

    Having been a member of wnrc over 25 years ago, I am glad to hear this great news! Best wishes in the future. Mni Wiconi!

  7. Thrilling news!
    May no permits ever be granted that destroy water, soil, or air.
    Align with the Earth and the Great Central Sun.

  8. Unknown says:

    amen!!! Let us pray that the Federal ruling will turn in to a permanent ruling! thankyou to all who supported this VERY important cause!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Thank you to the Creator for touching the minds of those in power, and letting them see what is really important.

  10. Unknown says:

    I am delighted with this ruling.

  11. Good news for Oglala on Pine Ridge reservation! Thought I'd put that out there, Canadian company and did not consult with Native people. Sound familiar!

  12. MaryAnn says:

    Much to be thankful for...

  13. Unknown says:

    Wonderful !

  14. jonathan says:

    Please tell me, if you can, what is the date of this decision?

  15. years and years and years enduring promises broken...and no one to protect you is just a SIN

  16. Unknown says:

    Finally a bit of positive news!!!

  17. Unknown says:

    Yes, finally. Why would anyone want to do this to our sacred planet. Great result.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Fantastic! Canada has a LOT to answer for in the contamination and destruction of the planet!!!

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