A D.C. appeals court is denying an Oglala Sioux Tribal request to review nuclear permits issued to a proposed uranium extraction project.
The move clears one of several federal permits that are under appeal.
South Dakota Public Broadcasting’s Lee Strubinger has more.
The tribe says the Nuclear Regulatory Commission did not follow the process of the National Environmental Policy Act and National Historic Preservation Act to protect the tribe’s cultural and historic resources.
Travis Stills is an attorney with Energy and Conservation law out of Durango, CO.
He says the ruling means the NRC’s permits will get issued, but without a full assessment of what negative affects to cultural, resource and groundwater will be.
“It ends up on turning on some fairly technical questions of law, but the result is the court allowed the NRC to go ahead in licensing – without being informed on the serious impacts that its licensing would have on cultural resources of the Lakota, and especially the Oglala Sioux Tribe.”
The tribe has a 90 day period to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Mark Hollenbeck is the project manager for the Dewey Burdoch site. He says the appeals court ruling is expected.
“We have won every one along the way and we expect it to continue that way. It’ll just go through the process.”
Hollenbeck has sought permits for the project since 2012.
Two EPA permits are also under review.
State permits for the project are on hold until federal permits appeals conclude.
Recently, Fall River County voters designated uranium mining as a nuisance. Backers say it halts uranium production in the county.
Project proponents call the measure illegal.
It’s unclear whether the designation will get challenged in court.
The Office of Hawaiian Affairs recently released a report on missing and murdered Native Hawaiian women and girls.
The report was compiled after more than one year of data collection and work by a task force focusing on missing and murdered Native Hawaiian people.
Advocates, task force members, and state lawmakers recently held a press conference at the State Capitol in Honolulu to discuss the release of the first official report.
Some key findings include more than a quarter of missing girls in Hawaii are Native Hawaiian, Hawaii has the eighth highest rate of missing persons in the U.S., and the average profile of a missing person in Hawaii is a 15-year-old Native Hawaiian girl missing on Oahu.
Khara Jabola-Carolus is the executive director of the State Commission on the Status of Women and task force co-chair.
“On one hand these findings are startling and then on the other this report doesn’t really say anything new instead it vindicates and validates what Native Hawaiians, sex trafficking and gender-based violence service providers and feminist activist have been saying all along and have been told they are exaggerating or manipulating facts or simply providing an anecdote.”
Task force members say another concerning finding is documentation that shows the U.S. military directly contributes to child sexual exploitation in Hawaii – pointing to law enforcement operations involving men arrested for trying to have sexual encounters with 13-year-olds online.
Advocates are calling on the U.S. military to be on the task force.
They’re also seeking more data collection, and for state lawmakers to work with law enforcement, advocates, and survivors to craft policies to protect women and girls.
The task force was created by the state legislature in 2021. Another report is expected to be released in 2023.
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