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Black Hills

Tribes And Water Protectors Ward Off New Black Hills Gold Rush

Native nations and citizen watchdogs were prepared to take action against the permitting, because this is not the first time the federal agency has moved to allow the renewal of large-scale mining at these headwaters of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. Four toxic Superfund sites are the result of water pollution from the mining over the past 70 years. Two generations of Lakota and settler descendants have worked across and through cultural differences to prevent any more of the same. Taxpayers already are footing the bill for the cleanup of hazardous heavy metals used in modern mining: cyanide, arsenic, chromium III and VI, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, selenium, silver, thallium, and zinc. About $100 million of public money has been spent on runoff at just one of the sites, which generates approximately 95 million gallons of poisonous acid rock drainage a year.
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