I could not resist posting this from Erin Brockovich–keep in mind there are 500,000 abandoned mines that could potentially seep toxic chemicals into our rivers, lakes and oceans. It is time to do something about it! The only way to beat the people quoting science with no solutions, is to produce better science! Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization stands for that and is doing it!
Let’s be perfectly clear, the statement the river has “returned to conditions similar to the pre-release date”… is so dishonest it makes me sick. These are the same people that said not to worry there will be limited environmental impacts because the river system is already dead. So what they are really saying is the river has returned to acceptable toxic levels.
Water samples taken on any given day are meaningless. This river system is constantly subject to agitation, storm flows, diversion changes, planned and unplanned releases that will all cause redistribution of the toxic heavy metals…over and over again for years to come.
Over the long-term, scientists project that most metals from the Gold King Mine release that arrive in Utah will ultimately be deposited in Lake Powell… as if it were so sort of graveyard for bad behavior. Remember this and scores of other mines have been leaking into Lake Powell for decades!!!
Ideally, they “hope” these metals will be covered by a sufficient layer of non-toxic sediment to reduce aquatic life exposures to high metal concentrations. The high sediment load of the San Juan River, the depositional area in the San Juan arm of Lake Powell, and the long residence-time of water and its constituents in the lake before being transported downstream (roughly 7.2 years), should help reduce the effects of this event.
Many questions regarding the long-term impacts of this spill remain unanswered. For example, impacts of the contamination on nearby groundwater drinking water aquifers, aquatic ecosystems, and soils irrigated with river waters are just a few of the many potential issues that will need to be addressed. These issues will require that the Navajo Nation in collaboration with States and other agencies develop a long-term monitoring plan.
Face it… they will never clean this up. Mining polluters and their USEPA “handelers” hope they can placate, manipulate, stipulate and dance their way out of yet another complete screw up.
The USEPA, the Government of the United States, has used the Navajo Nation as there dumping ground for a century… turning a blind eye and counting on Lake Powell to repeatedly serve as their “catch-all toilet.”
The legacy pollution issues bestowed upon the Navajo Nation will be revealed… and ultimately addressed.