Take action on SB 141 – higher bonds on new mining operations

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Happy Sunday folks! Session is in again tomorrow (we’re on Monday-Thursday for a few weeks now) and this Tuesday, Jan. 29, at 10:00am, SB 141 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Commerce and Energy Committee. This bill would provide much stronger bonding requirements for new mining operations. Right now, often bonds are not set at a high enough level to actually cover reclamation costs after a mine closes, as the costs of reclamation are much higher than originally predicted. South Dakota knows all too well what happens when a mining company folds before a mine is closed. Taxpayers are stuck with the costs of cleanup.

SB 141, by increasing the required bond to twice the amount of the estimated cleanup, would provide adequate insurance against lasting damages that South Dakotans could be stuck with for decades. We urge you to contact your legislators and legislators on the Senate Commerce and Energy Committee to urge their support for SB 141:

Sen. Tim Begalka, R-Clear Lake
Sen. Angie Buhl, D-Sioux Falls
Sen. Ried Holien, R-Watertown – Committee Chair
Sen. Phil Jensen, R-Rapid City
Sen. J. Mark Johnston, R-Sioux Falls
Sen. Dan Lederman, R-Dakota Dunes – Committee Vice Chair
Sen. Ryan Maher, R-Isabel

Also, several members will be on their way to Pierre this week, many of whom will be there to testify Tuesday. If you could like to join them, contact me (sabrina@dakotarural.org) and I will get you details on how to join in!

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