EARTHWORKS

Factoid #23: Messing With Mother Nature

Factoid #23: Messing With Mother Nature
1872 Mining Law Fact #23

Published: September 12, 2003

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Looking at Earth from outer space, two manmade objects are visible-the Great Wall of China and a gaping open-pit copper mine in Utah.

2.5 miles across and a half-mile deep, the Bingham Canyon mine is the most enormous blight so far resulting from multinational mining companies- irresponsible business practices.

Owned by Britain-s Rio Tinto company, this hideous crater is the largest toxic polluter in the United States according to the EPA, polluting 72 square miles of groundwater in the Salt Lake City Area.

695 million pounds of toxic waste were released by this mine in 2001 alone-including 21 million pounds of arsenic and 91 million pounds of lead!

Yet none of this devastation is addressed by the 1872 Mining Law. So mining companies can exploit U.S. public land as though it's their own private world.

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