Other Views: No such thing as pollution-free sulfide mining

“With this recent push to weaken the sulfide mining law, I opened the file I had not looked at in 15 years, and I am reminded of mining disasters all over the world, such as a mining company dumping tons of untreated rock waste into the Ok Tedi River in Papua New Guinea; the leaching of toxic metals into the South Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River in Wallace, Idaho; the gold mine disaster at Summitville, Colorado, and the mining waste piles that had been polluting the New Diggings, Wisconsin, area since the 1920s. Some work has been done at these sites to clean them up, at taxpayer’s expense,” writes John J. Mutter Jr.

“Sulfide mining is a dirty business. Search the internet for “Pennies from Hell,” a Montana story by Edwin Dobb. The Environmental Protection Agency Superfund has cleaned up some polluted areas, but there’s a long waiting list, and some in remote areas may never be addressed,” remarks Mutter Jr.

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