As your District 33 Legislator, I am actively monitoring the situation of the Hideaway or Black Hawk Mine situation as it works its way through Meade County and State and Federal Government Agencies.  I will be in personal attendance at every public meeting regarding this situation.

At last report, there are twelve homes and 30 residents that have been evacuated. Unfortunately, the residents of the entire neighborhood may experience long-term financial setbacks as those properties will likely experience substantial depreciation.  This is unacceptable.

The sinkhole was first identified and reported to authorities on April 27th.  Later it was determined to be an abandoned gypsum mine (the 1910 “Black Hawk Mine”) built by the Dakota Plaster Company 110 years ago.  SD’s Department of Environment & Natural Resources (SDDENR) has no official record of this mine; it was in operation decades prior to SD’s involvement in the rules and regulations that involved mining activities.

The first meeting on what is now being called the “Hideaway Mine” is Tuesday, May 12 at the Meade County Building at 9 AM, I will be attending that meeting.  I have, along with the county officials, reached out to multiple state offices and even our congressional delegation for assistance and guidance. 

As the elected state-level representative for the impacted residents, I will influence and expedite a solution (to the best of my ability) wherever and whenever possible.  Once the best solution is developed, I will do anything I can do to assist the citizens and the municipal/county officials affected by this tragedy.  Rest assured, I’ll be an active and ever-present participant in the mitigation of this very serious situation, until it is completely resolved.

Let us remind ourselves at this time that we can be thankful no lives have been lost.  But we have to resolve this situation – to the best possible ending – as soon as humanly possible.

Feel free to contact me as we monitor this actively developing situation. david.johnson@sdlegislature.gov

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