Cleaning Up Toxic Waste at Closure


Cost of Clean-Up   "They pollute, you pay. Mining companies are the leading toxic polluters in the nation. The public pays for much of the staggering cost of cleaning up abandoned mines across the West, some of which were orphaned as recently as five years ago. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that billions of dollars are needed to protect Western drinking water supplies from mine waste, and that cleaning up the estimated half a million abandoned mines across the country may cost $35 billion or more." (EPA 2000)

AZ Taxpayers Fund Mine Cleanups  "According to government estimates the state of Arizona is home to approximately 100,000 inactive or abandoned mining sites, an estimated 3,000 of which pose an environmental risk (McCracken 2004)."

Dewatering  "Dewatering is the process of removing groundwater from the mine pits that extends below the water table." This means that when the mine is abandoned, the pit will fill up with groundwater and rain water, creating an artifical lake of toxic water.

Reclamation as defined by BLM Those pits won't go away, those seas of sulfuric acid won't go away! Read and weep! It's the price we pay for having copper mines as neighbors.


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