Emergency Drill Letter Takes Aim At Environmentalists

May 28, 2013

Hot Springs School - Hot Springs, S.D.
Credit Hot Springs School Alumni Association


 Advocates against the Keystone XL pipeline and uranium mining in the Black Hills are upset over a “sample” threatening letter used at a recent mock emergency drill. The Hot Springs School’s emergency response test contained verbiage that no one is taking responsibility for.

The recent Hot Springs School emergency response test included reports of suspicious people and vehicles.

There was also a fake threatening letter that read: “things dear to everyone will be destroyed unless continuation of the Keystone pipeline and uranium mining is stopped immediately.”

Lilias Jarding is spokesperson for the Clean Water Alliance – a group that opposes both the pipeline and uranium mining.

“The school district drill was based on a letter that characterized law-abiding South Dakota citizens as either mass murderers or terrorists,” Jarding observes. “And we found that rather appalling. So, we put out a press release and wanted to make sure that this kind of thing doesn’t happen again.”

Jarding is calling for an official apology from whoever is responsible for the letter.

Fall River County Emergency Management Director Frank Maynard won’t reveal who wrote the mock letter, but says the intent wasn’t to offend anyone.

Maynard fell short of apologizing but says greater sensitivity will probably be taken in future drills.