A Mining Law Whose Time Has Passed

A mining law passed in 1872 makes it harder to stop mining regardless of its detrimental environmental effects. The law was made originally for the development of hard-rock mining in the west. The article talks about a need to change the mining law. Now that we have advanced in technology, mining processes are now larger- scale than they were in the past which is causing even more trouble to the environment. Rivers and streams are in danger because mining creates acidic runoff that will last for centuries.  “There should be clear environmental standards, requirements to restore fish and wildlife habitat to pre-mining conditions and sufficient reclamation bonds to cover the full cost of cleanup.” This law is 140 years old; it should not pertain to the present-day with our understanding of the environment increasing. A new law should be made that accounts for the importance of “clean water, healthy fisheries, public lands and taxpayer dollars.”

Read more at: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/12/opinion/a-mining-law-whose-time-has-passed.html?scp=1&sq=mining&st=cse

Written by Jonathan Chang

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