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Spink County Commission To Battelle: No Support For Borehole Here

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Spink County
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Spink County Commissioners say there’s not enough local support for the proposed deep borehole field test to go forward.

Researchers want to find out if it’s possible to drill a hole deep and straight enough to store nuclear waste inside. They proposed a more than three mile deep test hole in Spink County.   Proponents say nuclear waste isn’t involved in the project. But opponents worry what will happen after the hole is dug. 

In order for the borehole plan to move forward, the land needs to be re-zoned. Representatives from Battelle, the organization leading the project, haven’t submitted an application yet. Spink County Commissioners sent a letter to Battelle, Governor Dennis Daugaard, and the President of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology saying they won’t have the four votes needed in order to for the application to pass. Dave Albrecht chairs the commission.

“I thought it was a good time to get this on the agenda for the commissioners to talk about it publically,” Albrecht says. “Because after so many weeks rumors get going around. And I think for two reasons, I think people had to know what the commissioners were thinking, and the Battelle Corporation needs to know how much support they have out here in Spink County, and I think we addressed both of those issues.”

Albrecht says there’s overwhelming opposition for the field test. Residents are concerned it could lead to the storage of nuclear waste in the county in the future. Those with the project say that won’t happen.  

A representative with Battelle says they’ve received the letter and are considering their options.