August 17, 2012
Large mines use large volumes of water. Really large volumes. That's a pressing issue in Arizona, where the state is experiencing severe to extreme drought conditions across much of its landscape.
A recent letter by University of Arizona Regents Professor Elizabeth Bernays and over a hundred other University Professors and scientists expresses concern over the potential impacts of water consumption and contamination from proposed mining activities on communities and ecosystems in southeast Arizona.
The letter highlights the proposed Rosemont copper mine in the Santa Rita mountains near Tucson, Arizona (see map), which has been permitted by the Arizona Department of Water Resources to pump up to 6,000 acres feet of water per year - over a trillion gallons.
By Hilary Lewis
August 16, 2012
On August 22, 2012, over a year after the deadline given by Congress, the Securities and Exchange Commissions (SEC) will have a meeting to discuss the implementation of Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. The Sunshine Act Meeting is open to public and will, amongst other things, finalize controversial rules regulating the responsibility companies have to consumers to disclose whether or not their products contain conflict minerals.
Conflict minerals, in terms of the Dodd-Frank Act, are gold, tin, tantalum and tungsten, elements that are commonly used in the production of electronics, jewelry, and automobiles. They are called conflict minerals because revenues and trade in these minerals have also financed wars, armed conflict, and human rights violations in countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
August 14, 2012
A panel of twelve independent scientists met in Anchorage last week to review the EPA's draft Bristol Bay watershed assessment. They've been assigned the task of reviewing the science behind the EPA study, which found that the mine footprint alone would result in the likely loss of up to 87 miles of streams and thousands of acres of wetlands.
The three day event included a lengthy public comment period on the first day in which top scientists, Alaska native leaders, commercial fishermen, conservation organizations and others weighed in. Earthwork's staff testified in support of the watershed assessment and presented the findings of a recent report we've compiled on the record of pipeline spills, uncontrolled seepage and tailings dam failures at operating copper porphyry mines in the U.S. If developed, Pebble will be the largest copper porphyry mine in the U.S.
August 10, 2012
The electronics market is experiencing rapid growth and consumers are replacing their electronics very frequently. According to the EPA, in 2009, “2.37 million tons of electronics were ready for end-of-life management.” It is important that all these electronics are properly recycled because they contain precious metals that could potentially be used to produce new electronics.
From an economic perspective, companies always seek to maximize their profits. As demand for precious minerals increases and mineral prices begin to seem unbearable, companies are looking for alternatives.
According to an article in Business Wire, “Major international corporations such as Waste Management (NYSE: WM), Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S), Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) and more are investing heavily in e-waste recycling as mineral prices soar worldwide.”
By Hilary Lewis
July 30, 2012
On July 28, 2012 I joined thousands of other fractivists from across the country at the steps of the Capitol to tell oil and gas companies, the Administration, and anyone else who would listen, no fracking way.
Of course we haven’t stopped fracking, but we started a movement, we built a coalition.
On the first day of the National Days of Action starting July 25 I attended a Marshal and Lobby Day training at the Sierra Club Headquarters in DC. I had never marshaled an event or lobbied my Congress people before, but the issue of fracking is important to me, my friends, my coworkers and my neighbors. It felt good to be in the company of so many other passionate citizens who care about critical issues like safe drinking water and public health.