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Fish deformities linked to selenium from mining operation on Wyoming, Idaho border

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By Bonnie Gestring

February 9, 2012

A research team hired by the J.R. Simplot Co. has linked selenium discharged from the company's phosphate mine near the Wyoming border to high rates of deformities in trout, including cases of brown trout fry with two heads, missing fins and cranial deformities. 

Yes, you read that right. 

And, still these phosphate mines are not required to report their releases to the EPA's Toxic Release Inventory - a publicly available database so communities can have information on the amount of pollution released in and near their homes.

And, what's worse, the company is asking for an exemption from water quality standards for two selenium polluted streams near Simplots Smoky Canyon Mine in Idaho.

The "phosphate patch" in this region is notorious for the number of livestock deaths associated with selenium pollution.

For more information, read this great piece.  And, to read our comments to the EPA to require phosphate mines to report its toxic discharges to the TRI, read here.

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Tagged with: epa, phosphate mining, idaho, selenium, simplot, toxicity


Important New York Times Op-Ed: Bring 1872 Mining Law Into 21st Century

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By Bonnie Gestring

January 13, 2012

The science is in: the antiquated 1872 Mining Law, “has outlived its purpose and its environmental consequences have been severe.”

In a terrific op-ed in the New York Times, fisheries scientists Carol Ann Woody and Robert Hughes, express their deep concern about the impact mining has had on the nation’s dwindling fisheries and the inadequacy of the 1872 Mining Law to regulate modern mining.

With stunning facts and figures, the two scientists describe the tremendous toll to our nation’s rivers and streams, native fish, and public lands, and highlight the risk to important native fish populations in Oregon's Chetco Wild and Scenic River and Montana's Cabinet Mountains Wilderness.

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Tagged with: 1872 mining law, rock creek mine, chetco river, kensington mine, fisheries scientists, montanore mine, zortman landusky mine


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