1872 Mining Law Fact #3
Published: March 13, 2003
It's pretty tough to swallow the poison pill of toxic mine waste- no matter what method you use.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates hardrock mining as the nation's top toxic polluter-based on pollution levels reported by the industry itself. Hardrock mining releases more toxics than any other industry, according to the EPA's Toxic Release Inventory.
Yet there are no environmental standards for hardrock mining under the 1872 Mining Law. Multinational mining companies released 3.4 billion pounds of toxic chemicals in the U.S. in 2000-including 454 million pounds of arsenic, 308 million pounds of lead and 3 million pounds of mercury.