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Imperial Metals Mount Polley Mine Tailings Dam Failure: A First-Hand Look

By Bonnie Gestring

October 22, 2014

On the two month anniversary of the Imperial Metals Mount Polley Mine tailings dam failure, I travelled with colleagues from Bristol Bay, Alaska to see the area first-hand. At the hospitality of the Northern Shuswap Fisheries Department, we travelled by boat across Quesnel Lake to see the mouth of Hazeltine Creek where the tailings spill emptied into the lake. Despite two months of cleanup, the mouth is still choked with massive trees that were carried downstream by the powerful force of the tailings breach, which transformed a small salmon stream into a broad corridor piled with mine waste.

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Tagged with: mining, tailings, canada, tailings dam


The Most Dangerous Road: fracking increases traffic, puts drivers at risk

By Hilary Lewis

October 14, 2014

A new investigation by Houston Public Media and the Houston Chronicle shows Texas highways are now the nation's deadliest, and fracking is to blame.

Fracking requires thousands of truck trips to haul water, frack fluid and more recently, about 4% of fracked oil.

All the increased traffic has led to more accidents and fatalities. And not just in Texas.

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Tagged with: oil and gas, spills, transportation and infrastructure, trucks


Long Live the Grand Canyon: Court Bans Uranium Mining

By Blina Kruja

October 10, 2014

During his visit to the Grand Canyon in 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt remarked upon the unique and rare beauty of the park:

“In the Grand Canyon, Arizona has a natural wonder…absolutely unparalleled throughout the rest of the world.  I want to ask you to do one thing…in the interest of the country to keep this great wonder of nature as it now is…I hope you will not have a building of any kind, not a summer cottage, a hotel, or anything else, to mar the wonderful grandeur, the sublimity, the great loneliness and beauty of the canyon.  Leave it as it is…What you can do is to keep it for your children, your children’s children, and for all who come after you, as one of the great sights which every American…should see.”

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Tagged with: mining, grand canyon, uranium, withdrawal, nepa


It’s definitely The Pits: new case study reveals lax waste management in PA

By Nadia Steinzor

September 29, 2014

For most of us, cleaning up after oneself is a basic guideline for living and working with others. Taking responsibility for the environmental costs of products is an emerging business concept. Then there’s the oil and gas industry—which prefers a “you deal with it instead” approach to waste management. The result? Tainted rivers downstream from wastewater treatment plants, earthquakes near injection wells, and radioactive drill cuttings in landfills. And then there are the giant pits where operators store millions of gallons of waste at a time.  

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Tagged with: fracking, pennsylvania, pennsylvania department of environmental protection


Judge dismisses Pebble’s lawsuit against EPA

By Bonnie Gestring

September 26, 2014

Today, Judge Holland of the U.S. District Court tossed out the Pebble Limited Partnership’s lawsuit against the EPA. Pebble sought to stop the EPA from using its authority under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act to restrict mine waste dumping from the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed. Read the court decision here.

The judge ruled that the lawsuit was premature because the EPA hasn’t issued a final decision yet. The EPA initiated the 404(c) process after Alaska Native Tribes and commercial fishermen petitioned the agency in 2010 to step in to protect the Bristol Bay fishery, which is central to the culture and regional economy. The EPA has announced that it will make a final decision by February 2015. Earthworks submitted an amicus brief in support of the EPA, urging the Judge to dismiss the case. Read the press release here.

In the meantime, there is enormous local, state and national support for the EPA to issue a final decision and protect the Bristol Bay watershed from the Pebble Mine. The public comment period on the EPA’s plans for limiting mine waste disposal into the Bristol Bay watershed closed last week (Sept. 19th), with a flood of public comments supporting the EPA’s proposal.

Altogether, the EPA has received roughly 1.5 million comments on behalf of protecting the Bristol Bay fishery – demonstrating the overwhelming public support for protecting the largest wild salmon fishery on Earth.

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Tagged with: mining, epa, pebble mine, lawsuit, pebble limited partnership


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