EARTHblog » Bonnie Gestring
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.
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.