Earthworks

In the News

Responding to Texas quake uptick, seismic study gets underway

Statesman | Asher Price

January 24, 2016

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Tagged with: fracking, texas, earthquakes, frackquakes


Skeptics remain after power plan Q&A

Denton Record Chronicle | Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe

January 23, 2016
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A panel from Denton Municipal Electric fielded questions from a skeptical audience for nearly four hours Saturday over a proposal to replace the city’s current coal-fired power with new gas-fired power plants.

Questions and comments from the audience ranged from the pragmatic to the philosophical. They wanted to know why the city should build the plants knowing the rapidly changing energy market, the region’s poor air quality, the community’s stated values and the threat of climate change.

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Tagged with: fracking, texas, denton, renewables


Science panel faults EPA fracking probe for excluding baseline water testing

StateImpact PA | Jon Hurdle

January 13, 2016
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The Environmental Protection Agency’s landmark investigation into the impact of fracking on drinking water lacked baseline testing that would have made its results more illuminating, according to a scientific panel that assessed it, and independent analysts.

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Tagged with: fracking, epa, pennsylvania, water


Watch: Infrared video shows Porter Ranch leak spew 50,000 kilograms of methane per hour

KPCC | Sharon McNary

December 9, 2015
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A black vapor plume boils up from a point on a hillside in Aliso Canyon and spreads as a low cloud, hugging the landscape, moved along by a breeze. It's footage from a camera calibrated to make gases that would normally be invisible show up on video.

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Tagged with: california, methane, porter ranch


Watch Methane Gas Eerily Float Over the Hills Near the Huge Porter Ranch Gas Leak

Curbed LA | Bianca Barragan

December 9, 2015
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Since Late October, a leak at a Southern California Gas Company facility in the Santa Susana Mountains has been spewing an incredible amount of methane gas, and the gas has been wafting into the nearby, wealthy Porter Ranch neighborhood, causing problems ranging from headaches to nosebleeds. SoCal Gas says it'll take weeks at least to fix the leak, and meanwhile they've relocated hundreds of people. To help people get a better idea of how dire the situation is, a cameraman working for environmental nonprofit Earthworks has captured images of a cloud of methane leaking from the Gas Company's Aliso Canyon natural gas storage site and crawling over the hills in the area. Armed with a "forward looking infrared camera calibrated to detect gases," the cameraman was able to make the gas—normally invisible to video as well as the naked eye—visible, says KPCC.

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Tagged with: california, methane, porter ranch


Watch 50,000 Kilograms of Methane Per Hour Gush From a Busted Pipe

CityLab | Laura Bliss

December 9, 2015
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What does a pipe spewing 50,000 kilograms of methane per hour look like? You’d never know, as the highly flammable gas is invisible to the naked eye.But in the northern San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, where a ruptured pipe has been pluming natural gas for nearly two months, residents finally have their chance to see.

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Tagged with: california, methane, porter ranch


Interior Secretary Jewell to testify on Gold King, mines at hearing

The Denver Post | Bruce Finley

December 8, 2015
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The Obama administration is weighing in on the problem of acid drainage from inactive mines, proposing a fee on companies working on public and private lands to raise funds for long-delayed cleanups

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Tagged with: mining, interior department, doi, 1872, animas


Eco-group working to make invisible air pollution from Ohio’s Utica Shale visible to everyone

Akron Beacon Journal | Bob Downing

November 22, 2015
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BARNESVILLE: Peter Dronkers of Earthworks makes invisible air pollution from shale drilling visible to everyone.

The viewfinder of Dronkers’ special infrared gas-recording camera shows billowing clouds or wispy leaks.

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Tagged with: fracking, epa, ohio, methane, flir, citizens empowerment project


Residents air concerns about fracking at forum

Barnesville Enterprise | Cathryn Stanley

November 19, 2015
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Barnesville area residents were given the opportunity to learn about the impact of hydraulic fracturing on air quality and make public comments to share with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in an effort to strengthen proposed rules on air quality standards for the industry. On Saturday, Nov. 7, the Concerned Barnesville Area Residents hosted a forum at the First United Methodist Church in Barnesville. Information was presented by  Melanie Houston, Director of Water Policy & Environmental Health, Ohio Environmental Council and  Nadia Steinzor, Eastern Program Coordinator, Earthworks. Several area residents also shared their stories about the environmental and health impact they say fracking has had in the Barnesville, Somerton and Seneca Lake areas.

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Tagged with: fracking, epa, ohio, methane


Group Strives for tougher regulations on oil and gas drilling

Free Press Standard | Nancy Schaar

November 18, 2015
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A small group of local residents met Nov. 9 with officials from Earthworks of Washington D. C. to discuss and record their opinions regarding the lack of regulations for methane and other chemicals involved with the gas and oil industry.

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Tagged with: fracking, epa, ohio, methane


Forum gets input on tighter limits on methane, other chemicals released by the oil and gas industry

Canton Rep | Shane Hoover

November 9, 2015
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Tighter limits on the amount of methane and other chemicals released by the oil and gas industry is a win-win situation in Gail Walker’s view.

“This appears like a good and sensible step, both for my personal health here in Carroll County and for the well-being of the planet,” Walker, of Center Township, said Monday at a forum organized by local, state and national environmental groups in the heart of Ohio’s Utica Shale.

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Tagged with: fracking, epa, ohio, methane


Western senators launch effort to reform mining law to spur cleanup

Denver Post | Bruce Finley

November 5, 2015
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Western senators weighed in on the toxic mines problem Thursday, launching legislation to reform the nation's 1872 Mining Law and require companies to pay fees to create a cleanup fund for abandoned inactive mines.

The legislation introduced by Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet and New Mexico Sens. Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall would apply to existing and new mining operations. It aims to raise at least $100 million a year.

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Tagged with: mining, 1872, mining law reform, animas


Why capping methane leaks is a win-win goal for industry and environmentalists

PBS | Kathleen McCleery

November 4, 2015
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GWEN IFILL: But, first, natural gas is often considered a cleaner fuel than coal. It emits about half as much carbon dioxide. But the main component in natural gas is another greenhouse gas: methane.

As special correspondent Kathleen McCleery explains, that’s why both environmentalists and the energy industry are trying to find ways to capture leaks from oil and gas facilities.

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Tagged with: fracking, epa, colorado, methane


Mining reclamation requires funding

Durango Hearld | Peter Marcus

October 22, 2015
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Mining-reclamation experts this week told a congressional panel that good Samaritan legislation and funding for restoration efforts are “inseparably tied together.”

The comments came during a hearing Wednesday on good Samaritan cleanups of abandoned mines, held by the House Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment.

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Tagged with: mining, 1872, reclamation, animas


Rep. Bob Gibbs seeks ways to clean up abandoned mines

Cleveland.com | Sabrina Eaton

October 21, 2015
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WASHINGTON, D. C. -- A half-million abandoned mines throughout the nation pose public safety hazards, particularly to water quality, and current federal and state cleanup programs don't adequately address the problem, environmental and mining experts told a congressional subcommittee on Wednesday.

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Tagged with: mining, abandoned mines, good samaritan


NO FRACKING: Activists push delegation to ban hydraulic fracturing

Fort Myers Beach Observer | Bob Petcher

October 21, 2015
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The supportive act to ban hydraulic fracturing by several local governments was echoed by activists during a county lawmaking session last week.

Representatives from three environmentally conscious entities held a press conference during the lunch break of the Lee County Legislative Delegation Meeting at Florida Southwestern State College to express opposition to "fracking" and a potential pro-fracking bill in Florida.

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Tagged with: fracking, florida, everglades


Deep Sea Mining a New Ocean Threat

Huffington Post | Richard Steiner

October 20, 2015
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Adding to concerns about the disastrous decline in ocean ecosystems, now there is another emerging threat - deep sea mining. While shallow water mining for sand, gold, tin, and diamonds has been conducted for decades, commercial deep sea mining has yet to occur anywhere. But that's about to change.

Extensive deep sea mineral exploration is currently underway in international waters governed by the International Seabed Authority (ISA), under the U.N. Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and within Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) of many coastal nations.

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Tagged with: mining, deep sea mining, deep sea mining campaign


Grassroots network forms to monitor fracking front

Star-Telegram | Max B. Baker

October 12, 2015
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Cathy McMullen shook her head as a year of hard work went down in flames.

The leader of the Denton grassroots group that spearheaded the state’s first voter-approved ban on fracking last fall felt powerless as state lawmakers tossed the Denton ban onto the ash heap earlier this year. On a drive back from Austin, McMullen thought that after years of fighting, her activist days might be over.

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Tagged with: fracking, texas, denton, hb40


Legal Push to Get EPA to Finally Regulate Oil and Gas Waste

Public News Service | Dan Heyman

October 8, 2015
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The EPA has largely failed to regulate waste from oil and gas drilling, even though the agency admitted the hazardous nature of the waste decades ago. National and state-based groups are pushing for the agency to at last close the gap.

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Tagged with: fracking, epa, waste, west virginia


Anti-fracking activists converge in Denver for meetings, protests

Denver Post | Bruce Finley

October 5, 2015
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Oil and gas drilling closer to communities along Colorado's Front Range, as seen in a struggle north of Denver, is putting residents and school officials on guard.

While Synergy Resources says it would tread as lightly as possible near Thornton, the lingering anxieties are an example of the sentiments that on Monday drove 230 activists from 30 states to demonstrate around Denver.

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Tagged with: fracking, colorado, stop the frack attack


NGOs: Study of world's first deep sea mine is misleading, fails to account environmental and social impact

International Business Times | Karla Tecson

September 30, 2015
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A coalition of non-government organisations and citizens from the Pacific, Australia, Canada and the US has expressed fresh opposition against the world’s first deep sea mine, situated in the Bismarck Sea of Papua New Guinea. The group, called Deep Sea Mining Campaign, launched a new critique which seeks to discredit the environmental and social benchmarking analysis, or ESBA, of the proposed Solwara 1 projectcommissioned by Nautilus Minerals.

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Tagged with: mining, deep sea bed mining


Arizona’s 100,000 Abandoned Mines Pose Environmental, Safety Dangers

KJZZ | Carrie Jung

September 28, 2015
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Opening a mine in Arizona today is no easy feat. It requires hundreds of pages of paperwork and several rounds of environmental studies. But, that wasn’t always the case. Until the 1970s the mining industry nationwide faced minimal regulation. That's left quite a mess behind.

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Tagged with: mining, abandoned mines, animas river


EPA Public Hearing On Methane Emmission Rules Held In Dallas

KERA | Christopher Connelly

September 24, 2015
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The federal Environmental Protection Agency was in Dallas Wednesday for a daylong public hearing on proposed rules that would govern oil and gas production.

The proposals are part of the Obama administration’s strategy to cut emissions of the powerful greenhouse gas methane in the production of oil and gas. The EPA’s Alison Davis said the new rules would expand on 2012 restrictions aimed at cutting smog.

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Tagged with: fracking, epa, texas, methane


Udall, Heinrich propose bill requiring hard-rock miners to help pay cleanup costs

Santa Fe New Mexican | Justin Horwath

September 16, 2015
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New Mexico’s two U.S. senators say they will introduce legislation that would require companies digging for hard-rock minerals on public lands to pay royalties to help cover the cost of cleaning up tens of thousands of mines across the nation abandoned by the industry decades ago.

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Tagged with: mining, 1872, animas


Draining old mines foul Denver’s watershed every day with contaminants

Denver Post | Bruce Finley

September 16, 2015
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ALMA — Ninety miles west of Denver, 347 gallons a minute of acidic heavy metals leak into a tributary of the South Platte River every day from the defunct London Mine. Not even the bugs that fish eat have survived in South Mosquito Creek west of Alma, let alone the trout local leaders hope to restore for the South Park recreational economy.

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Tagged with: mining, colorado, abandoned mines, 1872, animas


Groups push EPA to rewrite oil and gas waste disposal rules

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | Don Hopey

August 31, 2015
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Seven environmental organizations say they will sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to force the agency to set new and tighter standards for disposal of oil and gas drilling and fracking waste that they say now threatens public health and the environment.

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Tagged with: fracking, epa, waste, rcra


America’s toxic mining pools: Ticking time bombs?

CNBC | Bob Woods

August 27, 2015
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On August 5, 3 million gallons of toxic sludge gushed out of the long-abandoned Gold King mine near Silverton, Colorado, and into the Animas River. The Tang-colored torrent, percolating with arsenic, lead and other pollutants, was inadvertently unleashed by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) contractors attempting to clean up wastewater that's been accumulating since the mine closed in 1923. 

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Tagged with: mining, colorado, animas


30,000 Leaky Mines Contaminating U.S. West’s Water Supply

Discovery News | Patrick Kiger

August 27, 2015
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Colorado is still recovering from an August 5 toxic waste spill that turned the Animas River a bright orange color. The leak, which amounted to 3 million gallons, was caused when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency  used heavy machinery to investigate pollutants at the Gold King Mine, north of Silverton.

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Tagged with: mining, colorado, animas


Environmentalists threaten to sue EPA over oil & gas waste-disposal law

StateImpact PA | Jon Hurdle

August 26, 2015
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Seven environmental groups on Wednesday threatened to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for allegedly failing to update a law on the disposal of oil and gas waste to reflect the fracking boom of recent years.

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Tagged with: fracking, epa, waste, rcra


Local governments, nonprofits urge mining regulation reforms

Arizona Daily Sun | Emory Cowan

August 26, 2015
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It’s been only three weeks since 3 million gallons of wastewater the color of Tang gushed out of an abandoned gold mine in Colorado.

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Tagged with: mining, colorado, 1872, animas


Environmental Groups Start Legal Process to Sue EPA over Fracking Waste

InsideClimate | Phil McKenna

August 26, 2015
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A number of leading environmental organizations filed a legal notice with the Environmental Protection Agency Wednesday demanding that the agency stop what they say is improper disposal of drilling and fracking waste by oil and gas companies.

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Tagged with: fracking, epa, waste, rcra


A coalition of environmental group says Texas is among states where "fracking" for oil and gas is threatening people’s health. The group wants more federal oversight.

Houston Public Media | Dave Fehling

August 26, 2015
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In a conference call with reporters, the environmental groups said states, like Texas where oil and gas drilling has surged, aren’t doing enough to regulate toxic waste generated at the drill sites. And they said the federal Environmental Protection Agency should be stepping in but isn’t.

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Tagged with: fracking, texas, waste


Disaster on Animas River could have been anywhere

Longmont Times-Call | Terry Odendahl

August 24, 2015
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When a failed attempt to clean up the Gold King mine sent 3 million gallons of toxic mining waste into the Animas River, I was shocked. As the executive director of Boulder-based Global Greengrants, I travel the world hearing to local solutions to environmental problems. I know the challenges of bringing a community together and the power that a determined group of dedicated individuals can have. When I saw an orange river right in our backyard I knew there had to be a solution.

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Tagged with: mining, colorado, 1872, animas


Fracking Injunction Fails

Santa Fe New Mexican | Elizabeth Miller

August 18, 2015
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A federal judge has failed to grant an injunction to temporarily halt on oil and gas drilling in Navajo lands and the area around Chaco Culture National Historic Park. The preliminary injunction would have nullified 265 recently approved applications to drill in the San Juan Basin in northwestern New Mexico, often within 20 miles of the national park. Yet, now the practice will continue as the court process moves along. 

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Tagged with: fracking, chaco canyon, unesco


The Colorado mine spill was predictable and preventable

Al Jazeera America Opinion | Jennifer Krill

August 15, 2015
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Westerners know the value of clean water. From farmers in California to brewers in Colorado and fishermen in Montana, water is a part of everything we do. But our water is scarce, so we know not to put our limited water resources at risk.

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Tagged with: mining, 1872, animas river


Colorado river spill: Fixing the 1872 law that haunts thousands of old mines

Christian Science Monitor | Brad Knickerbocker

August 15, 2015
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The US Environmental Protection Agency says it’s now safe for recreational boaters to use the Animas River following a mine waste spill in Colorado that befouled the river with toxic metals and turned it a mustard yellow.

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Tagged with: mining, 1872, animas river


Mine spill throws EPA on the defensive

The Hill | Timothy Cama

August 15, 2015
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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is under fire over the toxic mine waste spill it caused in Colorado.

The spill of 3 million gallons of sludge filled with heavy metals into a river led to immediate scorn from Republicans and the EPA’s opponents. Critics accused the Obama administration of hypocrisy and said officials are not holding themselves to the same standards as private companies that pollute.

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Tagged with: mining, 1872, animas river


5 Other Mines at Risk of Spilling Toxic Waste

National Geographic | Brian Clark Howard

August 14, 2015
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A spill at a mine that turned a Colorado river orange and sent toxic waste barreling downstream 100 miles has many people wondering if the mining site in their town could be next. The answer from experts: Yes.

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Tagged with: mining, 1872, animas river


CO Mine Spill - Privatized Profits, Socialized Clean Ups

The Big Picture | Thom Hartmann

August 14, 2015
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Tara Houska, Tribal Rights Attorney & Lauren Pagel, Earthworks join Thom. Colorado Governor John Hicklenooper drank straight from the Aminas River today - but the EPA still says the mine waste spill there could take years to clean-up. So what kind of long-term damage could it do the local ecosystem? 

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Tagged with: mining, 1872, animas river


What the Gold Mine Disaster Tells Us

The New York Times | Editorial

August 13, 2015
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The General Mining Law of 1872 is among the last surviving statutes of the boisterous era of westward expansion. Signed by Ulysses S. Grant, it establishes the basic rules for mining hard-rock minerals like gold, copper and uranium on public lands.

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Tagged with: mining, 1872, animas river


Mine Spill Price Tag Rises, Raises New Concern About Colorado’s Abandoned Mines

NPR Here & Now | Robin Young

August 13, 2015
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The price tag attached to the toxic wastewater spill from Colorado’s Gold King mine is rising, as economic disruption spreads through Colorado, New Mexico and Utah

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Tagged with: mining, 1872, animas river


US waterways at risk from thousands of defunct mines lacking cleanup funds

Al Jazeera America | Michael Keller

August 12, 2015
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While crews begin the arduous task of cleaning up Colorado’s Animas River — where contamination by heavy metals and toxins leaked from an abandoned hard rock mine turning the water orange — thousands of other natural sites across the American West remain at risk from similarly hazardous defunct quarries.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) estimates that there are currently 2,700 abandoned hard rock mines in need of environmental clean up. Nevada, nicknamed the “Silver State,” has the most, with an estimated 1,100 sites raising environmental concerns.

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Tagged with: mining, 1872, animas river


The real culprit in the Animas River spill

CNN Opinion | Lauren Pagel

August 11, 2015
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Last Wednesday, the United States experienced one of its worst hardrock-mining-related disasters in decades, and I wish I could say that I was surprised.

A gold mine that has been inactive since 1920 spilled 3 million gallons of toxic mining waste into the Animas River in Colorado after contractors working for an Environmental Protection Agency cleanup team using heavy equipment accidentally sent it flowing into the waterway. The spill has spread from Colorado into New Mexico and now into Utah -- affecting over 100 river miles.

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Tagged with: mining, 1872, animas


Spill sheds light on legacy of abandoned mines out West

CBS | Michael Casey

August 11, 2015
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A week ago, the Animas River was best known as a popular white water rafting destination and its pristine water prized by residents in Colorado and New Mexico.

Today, it serves as a troubling reminder of the legacy left behind by the abandoned gold and silver mines that dot much of the West

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Tagged with: mining, 1872, animas river


Lawsuit over fracking near schools in Mars School District could have statewide legal impact

Pittsburgh City Paper | Ashley Murray

July 29, 2015
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On a hot afternoon along a backed-up, rush-hour-plagued two-lane road, parents rally in the front yard of a school, holding cardboard cut-outs of children that bear written phrases like “Don’t Frack My Future” and “Your Job is to Protect Me.”

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Tagged with: fracking, pennsylvania


Controversial mine proposed near Smith River

NBC Montana | Paige Sedgewick

July 17, 2015
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The Smith River that runs through White Sulphur Springs in Montana is known to many people as a secret gem.  It's the only river in Montana where people have to get a permit to float.

Now a controversial proposal on a possible mine going in near the river is raising some concerns.

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Tagged with: mining, montana, smith river, tintina


Old mines still plague Montana’s Clark Fork

High Country News | Kindra McQuillan

July 10, 2015
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Cold, rapid and icy blue, the Clark Fork is Montana’s largest river. It begins its journey as Blacktail Creek, tumbling down from the Continental Divide at Pipestone Pass, near Butte, and threads its way between the Flint Creek, Sapphire and Garnet ranges on its way to Missoula. A century ago, one of North America’s largest copper booms rattled the river’s headwaters in Butte. Several hundred mines burrowed beneath the city, and in 1908, a flood washed tons of contaminated sediments from those mines into the river. Arsenic, copper, zinc, lead and cadmium contaminated millions of tons of sediment along 120 miles of the river’s banks — all the way to Missoula. The river’s legendary but struggling trout all but vanished.

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Tagged with: mining, abandoned mines, montana


Oil and gas industry may one day reap a fracking whirlwind

Star-Telegram | Adam Briggle and Sharon Wilson

July 8, 2015
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The battle has begun to restore Texas communities’ right to decide whether and how hydraulic fracturing of oil and gas wells should occur within their boundaries.

Ironically, the battle’s beginning is signaled by the city of Denton’s repeal of its fracking ban.

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Tagged with: fracking, texas, ban, denton, local control, hb40


Oklahoma Case Could Open Doors to More Earthquake-Fracking Lawsuits

InsideClimate News | Zahra Hirji

July 2, 2015
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Nearly four years after Prague, Okla., became the unlikely epicenter of three earthquakes of at least magnitude 5.0 and sent a fireplace and chimney tumbling into Sandra Ladra's living room, the Oklahoma Supreme Court has stepped in and offered her a surprising ray of hope.

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Tagged with: fracking, lawsuit, earthquakes, frackquakes, oklahoma


Plea for international review of B.C. mine dismissed at company’s AGM

The Canadian Press | Cara McKenna

June 25, 2015
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An Alaskan tribal government says a Canadian company has rejected its last hope for stopping a mine on a colossal gold reserve that borders its territory and is located in northwestern British Columbia.

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Tagged with: mining, investor risk, agm, ksm, seabridge


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