EARTHblog » Bonnie Gestring
February 18, 2011
We became aware of the need for these regulations thanks to the Environmental Protection Agency's Toxics Release Inventory, which requires large polluters to publicly and annually report their pollution.
When the issue was initially identified in 1998, gold mining was the 2nd largest mercury air polluter after coal power plants. (Metal mining was and still is the largest total mercury polluter -- by far -- when you count land and water releases in addition to air.)
This is an important issue because mercury air pollution is very toxic. Children of women exposed to relatively high levels of methylmercury during pregnancy show delayed onset of walking and talking, reduced neurological test scores, and delays and deficits in learning ability.
June 23, 2010
Strike three for the Rock Creek mine proposal
It s good news for our ongoing effort to protect Montana s Cabinet Mountains Wilderness Area and the area s threatened bull trout and grizzly bear populations from the proposed Rock Creek Mine.
On May 5, 2010, a federal court tossed out the mine permit, saying it fails to minimize impacts to water quality and fisheries.
This is the third time that the court has ruled against this project. The mine must now go back to the drawing board to develop a revised plan. With your support, we will continue our efforts to protect this important ecosystem.
Strike... four? The fisheries challenge in Montana State Court
In 2008, EARTHWORKS and our partners also contested a permit issued by the State of Montana, challenging the large amount of sediment that the mine is expected to discharge into Rock Creek, a lower Clark Fork tributary that supports a crucial population of bull trout, a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. State water quality law prohibits anyone from discharging sediment into state waters at levels that will harm fisheries. That case will be briefed in front of the Court in September.
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