National News and Views

Health, environment and economies threatened by sulfide mining

THE PRESIDENT'S AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS INITIATIVE  with online form to receive your comments and ideas via the America's Great Outdoors website.

Executive Order -- Stewardship of the Ocean, Our Coasts, and the Great Lakes   President Obama signed an executive order to establish the nation's first-ever comprehensive policy for our oceans, coasts and Great Lakes.  

NRDC’s 20th Annual Beach Report: More Contaminants, Fewer Advisories for Minnesota’s Lake Superior Beaches in 2009.  Duluth, Minnesota (July 28, 2010) – Pollution continues to contaminate the water at America’s beaches, causing 99 advisory days for Minnesota’s Lake Superior beaches last year and 18,682 closing and advisory days  nationwide.

Toxic Waters  The NewYork Times reveals in this series of articles the worsening pollution in American waters and regulators' response.  Real-life present-day inadequate enforcement is affecting human and wildlife health NOW.

Toxic Waters:  Clean Water Laws Are Neglected, at a Cost in Suffering

Toxins in our nation's  water -- a long but important article from the New York Times 9/13/09.  Apparently the beginning of a series about the nationwide failure to enforce the Clean Water Act.  Quotes from Rep. Oberstar.  If we can believe the data attached to this article, many permitted facilities haven't been inspected since the 1970s.   Click here to read article.

Strengthen federal Mercury regulation, protect Minnesota's air and waters

Many gold mines are significant sources of mercury air pollution, yet there are no federal regulations that require gold mines to control their emissions.  For example, the Donlin Creek mine proposed in Alaska could release an estimated 30-60 tons of mercury annually during processing.  Prevailing winds could bring a significant amount of this air-borne mercury into Minnesota lakes and streams and the Great Lakes region.  Read more ...

The EPA has finally drafted the regulations, which were open for public comment until June 28, 2010.  This is an important step in reducing mercury pollution.  But the draft regulations needed to be strengthened to:

  1. Significantly reduce the mercury emission limits for new mines.
  2. Require quarterly compliance testing to make sure mines are using the control technology.
  3. Improve the long-term storage requirements for mercury.

FLASH:  In the context of the President's July 19 Executive Order - Stewardship of the Ocean, Our Coasts, and the Great Lakes, this strengthening of EPA's mercury rule is urgent!


***********************************   Past Action Alerts  ************************************

Tell the U.S. EPA to strengthen the mercury mining air pollution rule.  About 90% of the mercury in Minnesota land and waters comes from air pollution elsewhere.  Help protect the environment everywhere by placing limits on mining pollution. 

Fix rules to require reporting by the mining industry, the LARGEST emitter of toxic chemicals.
Your help is needed to make sure that citizens know what toxic chemicals are being released; how much is released; and where that pollution is going. Please write the EPA and ask them to improve how the metal mining industry reports their chemicals under the TRI program. 

Strengthen federal Mercury regulation, protect Minneosta's air and waters

Many gold mines are significant sources of mercury air pollution, yet, there are no frederal regulations that require gold mines to control their emissions.  this loophole is a relic of the Bush administration and must be closed to protect drinking water in the 34 states (and costal areas!) where oil and gas crilling takes place.

The Kensington Decision -- What it  Means

The Center for Science in Public Participation has an excellent article in their Summer 2009 newsletter on the disastrous practice of dumping mine waste into water bodies., as allowed by the Bush administration.


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