EARTHblog » Bonnie Gestring

Smith River mine spells trouble

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By Bonnie Gestring

January 9, 2014

Like many Montanans, I jump at every chance to spend time on the Smith River. Growing up, it was a family tradition. My dad would load up the truck, throw in a hefty supply of Snickers and canned stew, and off we’d go to explore that remote and beautiful stretch of river.

We didn’t have any of the high-tech gear we have today – often just a sheet of clear plastic draped over our flannel sleeping bags. But I have vivid memories of the towering cliffs, the spectacular rock art, abundant wildlife and the giant trout that make the Smith River such a unique and beloved place.

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Tagged with: mining, montana, smith river

Mercury air pollution from gold mines has dropped by half!

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By Bonnie Gestring

December 10, 2013

It's great to have some good news to share, and this one's a whopper.  Mercury air pollution from U.S. gold mines has dropped by half - from over 5,000 pounds in 2006 to 2,500 pounds in 2012.  This is a remarkable change!

The biggest polluters were giant, open-pit gold mines in northern Nevada, where the amount of mercury pollution was off the charts!  Yet, there were no regulations that required these mines to control their emissions.

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Tagged with: epa, regulation, air pollution, mercury

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