South Dakota legislators discussed environmental issues during a Cracker Barrel in Rapid City on Saturday morning.
Citizens voiced their concerns about gold mining in Rochford. Mineral Mountain Resources is looking to open a gold mine in Rochford along Rapid Creek. The Canada-based company has secured permits to drill holes.
Rapid Creek runs down to Pactola Lake, where Rapid City gets part of their water supply.
Many people in attendance said they are against MMR coming in because they are afraid it will pollute the water.
One man in attendance today said, “Want a Flint, Michigan here? Well start storing that contaminated water.”
But the problem in preventing Mineral Mountain Resources is that the company is in full compliance with current laws and there is not much that can be done, according to Representative David Johnson.
Instead, Johnson looked to the citizens to help create a bill.
“Come to me with a law or a bill to take to the house and I will run with it with as much speed as I can get,” said Johnson.
The proposed drilling site is near the Federal Indian Trust known as Pe Sla. Native leaders in the crowd on Saturday it wouldn’t only contaminate water, but also do other damage to the environment.