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Polluting The Future - HOW MINING COMPANIES ARE CONTAMINATING OUR NATION’S WATERS IN PERPETUITY. May 2013

Polluting The Future - HOW MINING COMPANIES ARE CONTAMINATING OUR NATION’S WATERS IN PERPETUITY. May 2013

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Water is a scarce and precious asset, particularly in the western United States where the demand for freshwater is far out-pacing the supply. In order to access clean water, western states are proposing extraordinary investments, ranging from plans to spend $15 billion to transport water across the state of Nevada, to ideas for a pipeline from the Missouri River to Denver to offset the loss of water from the Colorado River, which in turn is struggling to provide water to seven states.

In the midst of declining fresh water supplies, an increasing number of hard rock mining companies are generating water pollution that will last for hundreds or thousands of years and new projects are on the horizon. Perpetual management of mines is a rapidly escalating national dilemma.

Our research shows, for the first time, the staggering amount of our nation’s water supplies that are perpetually polluted by mining.
Water is a scarce and precious asset, particularly in the western United States where the demand for freshwater is far out-pacing the supply. In order to access clean water, western states are proposing extraordinary investments, ranging from plans to spend $15 billion to transport water across the state of Nevada, to ideas for a pipeline from the Missouri River to Denver to offset the loss of water from the Colorado River, which in turn is struggling to provide water to seven states.

In the midst of declining fresh water supplies, an increasing number of hard rock mining companies are generating water pollution that will last for hundreds or thousands of years and new projects are on the horizon. Perpetual management of mines is a rapidly escalating national dilemma.

Our research shows, for the first time, the staggering amount of our nation’s water supplies that are perpetually polluted by mining.

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Published by: Sarah LittleRedfeather Kalmanson on Jul 24, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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10/08/2013

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EARTHWORKS
TM
HOW MINING COMPANIES ARECONTAMINATING OUR NATION’SWATERS IN PERPETUITY.MAY 2013
Polluting the
 
Future
 
PHOTOS AT RIGHT, TOP TO BOTTOM:
Zortman Landusky Mine, Montana. Photo by Andy Hu.Bingham Canyon Copper Mine, Utah. Photo by Ecofight.Chino Mine, New Mexico.Summitville Mine, Superund Site, Colorado. Photo by the U.S. EPA.
COVER PHOTOS
:
BACKGROUND
: Bingham Canyon Copper Mine, Utah.
MIDDLE
: Chino Mine, New Mexico. Photo by Gila ResourcesInormation Project (GRIP).
Polluting the Future:
How mining companies are contaminatingour nation’s waters in perpetuity.
EARTHWORKS, May 2013
By Lisa Sumi, environmental research and science consultant,and Bonnie Gestring, Earthworks
EARTHWORKS
TM
 
 
3
POLLUTING THE FUTURE:How mining companies are contaminating our nation's waters in perpetuityEARTHWORKS
www.earthworksaction.org
 
Table of Contents
Executive Summary
............................................................................................................................ 4
 
Methods ................................................................................................................................................ 6Results .................................................................................................................................................. 7Policy Recommendations
................................................................................................................
8
 Table 1:
Existing mines known to generate perpetual water pollution ....................................... 12
Table 2.
Existing mines likely to generate perpetual water pollution ........................................... 21
Table 3
. Proposed mines predicted to generate perpetual pollution, or at highrisk of perpetual pollution. ................................................................................................... 24
References
............................................................................................................................................ 25

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