Friday, October 24, 2008

New dumping rules for mining waste in US

Here are some links to articles discussing the proposed new mining waste rules in the US:

Indiana Times

NY Times

Scientific American

Note that the new rules are subject to approval by the US EPA.


Antonio Joyette said...

Is this a proposal to ease the occurence of an externality? Since the miners are already doing it illegally. Is legalising it going to make it better? No dumping within 100 feet of streams? That is in the stream almost! Minimise debris, if doing so? Minimise it compared to what? Don't pollute a lot, Just a little? What measure are we using here?

Also, minimising the volume of waste disposed outside the mining region does not change the fact that waste has to be disposed somewhere. It will have an impact elsewhere. Waste is waste. Waste by or in any other name or place is still waste. It will do what waste does. Pollute! Practically!

So a proposal gives permission to redo the landscape of the nation! Hide a few streams here, move a mountain there, expose the landform to erosion and make it look ugly.... We also need to realise that removing mountain tops changes orogrophy and microclimates, not to mention remove forests and the associated bio-diversity. It also affects adjacent ecosystems...tiny and all. what about those?

I am convinved that there are other viable options. Improve underground safety and technology. I believe miners wants to escape liability, not to mention costs. Question? Does the USA energy gobbling engine now demands that the environment be sacrificed, just to get the energy it needs? Even if they have to denude and pollute land and air? I am sure there are others used for this "waste". The by-product can be used as filling for construction, in landfills, etc? I am not of the impression all the viable options for disposal have been exhausted.

Whitney Knapp said...

I love how all the articles seem to think that this 100 feet rule is better, and more environmentally friendly. 100 feet isn't much. A football field is 100 yards...or...300 feet. Obviously, even 100 yards is too close, let alone 100 feet.

Also, mining companies can be granted a wavier allowing them to dump closer or in the stream if they have a good enough reason. This is equivalent to if they can pay the government off. I think the EPA needs to take a close look at what the new mining regulations really mean.

AshtonB said...

this just makes me mad to be completely honest, in a time when rules are questioned all the initiative needs to be taken to help matters, this just seems to be letting the coal industry have more lax rules, they are dumping and destroying water quality and have been getting away with it for over 20 years already, why are people not seeing the negative effects and acting on it in a positive way, these coal firms should be paying a pigouvian tax on the pollutants as it is not getting more laxed rules. It sounds to me that OMS are being ommitted or have perfect opportunity to "get around" the rules as they are now. 100 feet who are we kidding? It's called groundwater and where there is a water table it's only going to spread. waste needs to be disposed of properly where it causes the most minimal damage as far away from any natural resources, period. I mean have any positive alternatives even been made? Lets not give coat miners any more liability lets make them act responsibly. If miners are going to be in the business of emitting hazardous wastes then they need to be in the business of disposing of it correctly. I can't believe nothing has been done about this before now. I'm going to stop i'm only getting more mad.

Brandon Hamm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brandon Hamm said...

I was just curious if anyone had any ideas of what some possible yet feasable solutions to reducing runoff and pollution from this type of mining without stoping mining all together. because really, weather you are 100feet away, or 500feet away, when it rains water still flows downhill and into these streams, because after all the tops of the mountains being mined are definately up hill of these i guess i kind of agree with antonio, in that i dont see any way to completely stop stream contamination without completely stoping this type of mining....