Joe O'Sullivan and Dan Simmons-Richie of the Rapid City Journal wrote a series of reports taking an in-depth look at the issue of uranium mining in the Black Hills. What is being called one of the most important environmental decisions in decades for the Black Hills is being decided over the coming months. The South Dakota Board of Minerals and Environment finished up the first week of hearings on the proposed Powertech Uranium Mine planned for the Southern Black Hills. The heated issue is bringing intense debate and testimony in the court style hearings. Opponents to uranium mining claim it has a horrible track record of pollution and abandonment. At stake they say is the quality and quantity of the area's water. Mark Hollenbeck Powertech's Project Manager refutes the negative claims made against his company and notes the people of Edgemont are largely in favor of the mine for the jobs it will bring. The board of Minerals and Environment convenes again in November to continue the hearings.