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Additional Information

2010 May 28

The Agency has posted a summary of the discussions from which these issues were taken. Feel free to share your thoughts on any additional TRI metal mining issues that should potentially be addressed through rulemaking.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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3 Responses leave one →
  1. Howard Wilshire permalink
    October 14, 2009

    Some changes in law relating to reporting metal mining toxic releases were predicated on the erroneous notion that small amounts of toxics in untreated waste rock are “natural” and do not constitute release of toxics. The fact that such rock was brought to the land surface and broken up greatly enhanced release of the toxic components to the environment simply by exposing them to ready leaching.
    The drastic effect on TRI are shown page 115 of my book The American West at Risk: Science, Myths, and Politics of Land Abuse and Recovery, Published in 2008 by Oxford University Press.

  2. Bonnie Gestring, Earthworks permalink
    October 29, 2009

    I would like to see the EPA work with state agencies to develop a reporting system for ongoing discharges from mine operations in the event that the company abandons the property or files for bankruptcy. For example, the state of Montana has numerous mines with significant long-term water quality problems, but which no longer report to TRI because the company has filed for bankruptcy. The Beal Mountain mine is a good example. It continues to release significant pollutants into surface water, yet that information is not available to the public through the TRI.

  3. Steve Glazer, High Country Citizens' Alliance permalink
    November 24, 2009

    We are particularly concerned about the lack of information with regard to releases to groundwater. All mining operations should be required to conduct groundwater monitoring that reports discharge volume and concentrations. In Colorado, there is little information about the discharges coming from inactive mines. Until precise information is required, responsible parties will just claim that contamination to water sources is natural to avoid the responsibility to contain and/or treat the discharge. These discharges should be measured and reported.

    Also, discharges from wasterock should be measured and reported. Wasterock erosion is one of the major sources of contamination to our streams and rivers.

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