Saturday, February 23, 2008

U.S. Toxic Mining Pollution Increased in 2006 according to EPA Toxic Release Inventory

EPA released its most recent annual report (2006) on toxic pollution in the U.S. this week. Not such great news! --

The metals mining industry once again tops the list of the country's biggest toxic polluters. Unfortunately, the industry's 2006 emission level -- 1.2 billion pounds of toxic chemicals -- increased 4 percent over 2005 releases. This is while most other industries' levels declined, due in part to less stringent reporting requirements by the Bush administration that went into effect in 2006 for smaller facilities.

Read the AP summary here:
The Associated Press: Industry's Toxic Chemicals Declined

You can check toxic releases by state and by industry on EPA's TRI page here.

A massive increase in toxic releases was reported from one mine in particular, a copper mine in Miami, Arizona. Phelps Dodge owned the mine in 2006, however the site was purchased last year by Freeport-McMoRan. This may not be good news if you're hoping for environmental improvement! Freeport has a less-than-stellar (read: near the bottom) corporate responsibility record, according to an in-depth report in the New York Times. Read here and here for articles on Freeport. Here is an article about the Arizona mine.

This is good reason to support reform of the General Mining Law of 1872! Please sign up for our mailing list to receive updates on how you can take action as Congress debates reform of the law this session and stay tuned....


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