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Joe Foss Building

523 E Capitol

Pierre, SD 57501

Dennis Daugaard, Governor

Steven M. Pirner, P.E., Department Secretary
Email DENR Programs & Organization

Gov. Daugaard Comments to EPA on 111(d) Plans to Reduce Greenhouse Gases from Existing Power Plants


“South Dakota is indeed unique:

  • Approximately 74 percent of South Dakota’s electric production in the 2012 base year was renewable energy (i.e., 50 percent hydropower and 24 percent wind power). The remaining 26 percent was produced from fossil fuels.
  • South Dakota is a national leader in low carbon emissions; only three states emitted less carbon than South Dakota in 2012.
  • South Dakota has only one coal-fired power plant and one natural gas combined cycle plant, with each plant serving different Regional Transmission Organization electric grids.

Due to the limited number of fossil fuel power plants in the state, EPA’s proposal affects South Dakota disproportionately compared to other states and leaves South Dakota with scant and inadequate options to use to meet the goal set by EPA….South Dakota recommends EPA withdraw this proposed rule and draft a rule that identifies and supports a best system of emission reductions for: coal-fired; integrated gasification combined-cycles; and natural gas fired combined cycle power plants; and that it does so for each category separately.” - from Gov. Daugaard's comment letter (entire comment letter)


Gov. Daugaard Comments to EPA on Proposed Waters of the U.S. Rule


“I am concerned that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) proposed rule published April 21, 2013, to redefine 'Waters of the United States' under the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) oversteps federal authority and infringes on rights Congress specifically reserved to the States. I urge EPA and the Corps to withdraw the proposed rule.” - from Gov. Daugaard's comment letter (entire comment letter)


New Fish Consumption Advisories Issued for Day County Lakes


In 2014, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources assessed fish tissue samples collected from Lynn and Hazeldon Lakes (Day County). The walleye from these lakes contained mercury levels that exceeded the Food and Drug Administration recommendation of 1 mg/kg. With support from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the Department of Game, Fish, and Parks, the Department of Health issued fish consumption advisories for walleye over 21 inches from Hazeldon Lake and walleye over 18 inches from Lynn Lake.


The Department of Health fish consumption advisories are available at http://doh.sd.gov/food/fish-advisories.aspx and recommend limited consumption of fish from these lakes (see specific advice). A list of all waterbodies tested for mercury is available at http://denr.sd.gov/des/sw/fish.aspx.


Below are graphs plotting mercury concentration versus fish length for Hazeldon and Lynn Lakes.


fish mercury graph of Hazeldon Lake fish mercury graph for Lynn Lake


Gov. Daugaard Announces $3.1 Million for Eagle Butte Projects


Gov. Dennis Daugaard says the state Board of Water and Natural Resources approved $3.1 million in funds for drinking water and wastewater improvements in Eagle Butte. For more...


Lesterville Drinking Water Issue


DENR staff recently responded to a drinking water emergency in Lesterville, where sample results showed a presence of tetrachloroethylene, also known as PCE, at a level nearly 22 times the drinking water standard of 5 parts per billion. PCE is a chemical typically used in the dry cleaning and textile industries as well as industrial photo of Lesterville drinking water sample being collectedsolvents. The presence resulted in a temporary ban on all use of the town’s water except for flushing of toilets. Bottled water was delivered door-to-door, a portable shower house was set up, and local officials opened an emergency operations center to manage the situation. The ban was lifted after two days when sample results showed no detection of PCE. DENR will continue to investigate for a PCE source. Additional periodic samples will be collected to see if the contamination resurfaces. Sample results returned Tuesday, Oct. 14, continued to show no detection of PCE in Lesterville’s drinking water.


Staff Attend SDSU Fall Career Fair


DENR staff attended the Fall Career Fair at South Dakota State University in Brookings on Oct. 7. The fair had record-breaking attendance with 104 photo of SDSU Career Fair 2014companies present. The department's booth saw a steady flow of students, including 35 interested in summer internships, five graduating seniors potentially interested in a full-time engineering position as they become available and two individuals interested in an environmental scientist position.



Staff Attend SDSM&T Career Fair


photo of SDSM&T Career FairDENR staff attended the Fall Career Fair at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology on Sept. 24. There were over 150 employers attending, including 38 employers from South Dakota. The event gave students an opportunity to learn about DENR, and many expressed interest in joining our team of committed professionals as summer interns or in full-time positions.