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Releases beyond Containment

2010 May 28

Environmental representatives felt that all releases beyond containment, including those currently exempt from TRI reporting, should be made reportable.

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3 Responses leave one →
  1. Justin Hayes, Idaho Conservation League permalink
    November 23, 2009

    All releases of TRI pollutants should be reported – there should be no exemptions.

    Past exemptions – like mercury air emissions from mines – have hidden dangerous releases that should have been dealt with long ago.

  2. Brian Turnbaugh, OMB Watch permalink
    November 24, 2009

    The intention of the TRI program is to provide the public with information on the releases of toxic chemicals in order to improve the management of toxics and reduce pollution. To accomplish this, EPA should require mining operations to report releases of toxics from all mining activities, including air emissions, waste rock, wind-blown dust, ground and surface water releases, and releases currently exempt from reporting. Releases should be reported for as long as the releases are occurring, even if a mine is abandoned or the operating company goes out of business. If the actions of a mining operation result in the release or transfer of toxic chemicals, then those releases must be reported. Had the mining activities not taken place, the toxic substances would never have been released. Holding facilities accountable for their pollution is one of the goals of the TRI program.

  3. Southeast Alaska Conservation Council permalink
    November 25, 2009

    Fugitive emissions including mercury from waste rock dumps, heap leaches, and ore plies need to be monitored and added to TRI. Simple air sampling technology exists to accomplish this under published methodology. Both point and fugitive sources of air emissions should be measured. All emissions should be measured, not estimated.
    Groundwater pollution – currently, only surface water discharges are reported. The connectivity between ground water and surface water is often immediate and direct. Because the connectivity is usually not well established, the theory that surface water compliance assures ground water quality is invalid. Discharge ponds, waste piles and tailing storage facilities should be isolated from ground water and monitored with sampling wells. The data from groundwater monitoring wells needs to be included in the TRI list. Ground water in one place is someone else’s surface or drinking water in another place. Groundwater discharges should be measured and reported.
    Spillages from ore loading facilities, conveyor belts and weigh stations need to be included in the TRI. Simple calculations from manifests, inventories, or certificates of quantity could be used for determination. Scheduled sampling events near these facilities can be used to ground truth calculation methods.

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