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Water Treatment in Perpetuity: Who is really to blame?

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By Pete Dronkers

August 25, 2014

Last week I travelled to Albuquerque to attend an EPA-hosted national technical conference on “Mining Influenced Waters” – a toned-down phrase that describes water pollution caused by mining.  The cases laid out were all severe enough to warrant multi-million dollar remedial actions and treatment operations, and at most of these sites, someone will be footing the bill forever.

That’s right.  A growing number of mine sites discharge such severely polluted water that they will require water treatment for hundreds to thousands of years, or “in perpetuity” to meet water quality standards that protect human health and aquatic life.  Earthworks released a report in 2013 that documents this escalating national dilemma.

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Tagged with: mining, epa, water pollution, perpetual pollution, tailings


Fracking threatens the Chaco Canyon World Heritage Site

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By Pete Dronkers

June 11, 2014

Most people think that National Parks and UNESCO World Heritage sites would be buffered from industrial extraction like fracking for oil. But during the last two weeks of May, we all began to think again.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is writing a new management plan for a multi-million acre swatch of public lands in northwestern New Mexico.  Contained within this area is the treasured Chaco Canyon National Historic Park.  One of less than a dozen UNESCO sites in the western states, it includes the ruins of what were the largest buildings in North America 1,000 years ago.

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Tagged with: fracking, new mexico, indigenous, blm, sacred sites, chaco canyon


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