More Nevada gold mines spew more toxic mercury than they reported

Nevada keeps finding more large sources of mercury among the gold mines that are among the biggest drivers of its rural economy. Unfortunately for Idaho we are downwind of these mercury emissions that accumulate in fish and can cause brain damage and learning disabilities in babies and young children.

The Idaho Conservation League has sent two additional “notice of intent to sue” letters to to the Florida Canyon Mine and Kennecott’s Denton-Rawhide Mine for failing to lawfully report these mercury emissions.

New data, collected by the state of Nevada, showed that in 2006 the Florida Canyon Mine emitted over 440 pounds of mercury and the Denton-Rawhide had emissions of over 350 pounds. Both mines reported little or no emissions previously.

Idaho officials and the ICL have been pressing Nevada gold mines to reduce mercury emissions since 2005. That when Idaho National Laboratory testing found that mercury levels in the air south of Twin Falls rose 30 to 70 percent higher than normal levels when winds blew from the southwest, where the Nevada gold mines are located.

It also found higher than normal mercury levels in Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir near Nevada's border. The reservoir is one of Idaho's water bodies where health officials have issued fish-consumption advisories, warning women of child-bearing age and children to eat only one fish meal a week because of mercury contamination.

Over the last year, more than a dozen new fish consumption advisories have been issued warning the public of mercury contamination in fish in Nevada, Idaho and Utah. EPA records from 2005, before these latest emissions were reported, showed Nevada gold mines produce 25% of all U.S. mercury air emissions west of Texas.

Nevada, under pressure from Idaho and Utah officials, instituted a mandatory mercury clean-up program at mines in 2006. It required all mines that emitted major levels of mercury to use the best available technology for cutting emissions.

The program already found several mines emitting more mercury before this latest discovery. Nevada has really stepped up its efforts after learning that emissions in several mines were larger than reported.

All of this comes after the ICL’s program director, Justin Hayes, the father of young children, spent days driving around Nevada with a air quality monitor documenting higher air quality levels than reported around some of these mines. He kept pushing Nevada and the federal Environmental Protection Agency to do more than the voluntary mercury clean-up program they had put in place with the cooperation of miners in 2001.

Idaho’s Department of Environmental Quality also pressed and increased its own mercury monitoring program in cooperation with the Idaho National Laboratory. Now it has the support of Gov. Butch Otter who urged them to expand its efforts, especially in working with surrounding states .

"The reduction of overall mercury in the state is affected by factors outside state borders," Otter wrote recently as he also urged DEQ to look into whether Idaho needs its own mercury clean-up program.

Idaho doesn’t often get credit for environmental leadership. But its careful yet aggressive efforts to document mercury pollution coming over its borders has raised what was a considered largely a local issue, into a regional one that begs for more attention.

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Three cheers for ICL! With the EPA and state environmental/natural resource agencies in thrall to corporate polluters, it is left to citizens to try to affect change.

How?

I work at one of the mines you are commenting about.Maybe somebody more intellectual than just a stupid miner who rapes the land,but how is it possible for the mercury to travel over 500 miles in the air? I know how retorts and kilns work and I know we test the air daily with what are referred to as Jerome meters.I have been tested quarterly paying out of my own pocket,because anybody would be stupid to believe any company with your health.And my mercury limits are not high,some yes in my blood but not enough to effect my health.All this does is try to put 20 employees out of work. People who have health care problems with family members that need the insurance,and a few are raising our grandkids due to parents with Meth addictions. We are hard working normal taxpayers trying to what is right for our families.But that doesn't actually matter as long as it fits some sort of agenda mining bad, lawyers good. I read the letter the Idaho ConservationLeague sent out looks no more than pay us and we will stop,this is more commonly refered to as a shakedown.But I guess the ends justify the means but people better understand the minerals we ALL use daily don't grow on trees and somebody has to do the work other than fuzzy foreigners who work in 100 times worst coditions just look at China and the thousands that die in the coal mining there.

How Safe are You?

You and your loved ones are victims as well as the downwinders.
You're right about paying out of your own pocket for this mercury test. It is for your own self preservation that you do this. Your bosses are enriched because of yours and fellow co-workers efforts. The least they can do for their employees and the citizens who live in the area, is to provide protection from polutants. The tax payer usually ends up paying for the care of those who were harmed by catastrophic leaks and accidents. An employer must be truthful to his employees and the citizens. Can you vouch for your boss concerning your safety? What if he is like the CEO of Enron,
Would he alert the authorities of problems and accidents? Substances getting into our water? Just how safe are you?

New Answer, unlike the old answer

I am safe enough to die of a heart attack or diabetes like I expect to. Go on, you bother me.

Too bad I offend you with knowledgeable concerns.

Go ahead and bury your head in the sand, if that is your wish.

You die when you stop breathing. 100% fatal. NEXT

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Silly kid! Trix are for rabbits. You'd get arested for them!

Mercury is a common

Mercury is a common component in fluorescent lights and batteries. Mercury performs useful functions in our workplaces and in our homes, but still, it is a toxic and can impair our health. It can affect our kidney, liver and our brain. Long-term exposure to mercury can result in symptoms that get progressively worse and lead to personality changes, stupor, and coma. A star of the HBO phenomenon Entourage, Jeremy Piven, has just lost his source of extra cash as the result of an illness. The multiple Emmy award winner had to pull out of a Broadway play on the advice of his physician, after he had an abnormally high mercury count in his system. Although the director thought it sounded bogus, mercury is a highly dangerous substance that can kill if exposed to only a small amount. If you want to find out what would cause Jeremy Piven to turn down so much extra cash, check out this article.

Mercury is a common

Mercury is a common component in fluorescent lights and batteries. Mercury performs useful functions in our workplaces and in our homes, but still, it is a toxic and can impair our health. It can affect our kidney, liver and our brain. Long-term exposure to mercury can result in symptoms that get progressively worse and lead to personality changes, stupor, and coma. A star of the HBO phenomenon Entourage, Jeremy Piven, has just lost his source of extra cash as the result of an illness. The multiple Emmy award winner had to pull out of a Broadway play on the advice of his physician, after he had an abnormally high mercury count in his system. Although the director thought it sounded bogus, mercury is a highly dangerous substance that can kill if exposed to only a small amount. If you want to find out what would cause Jeremy Piven to turn down so much extra cash, check out this article.

Mercury is a common Ford, deadly @ high speed and while drunk!

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I don't get out much. I think I can still find my instructions in the box.