Saturday, May 14, 2011

Close Halliburton Loophole and Protect Waterways

 In 1972, Congress overwhelmingly passed the Clean Water Act to end the use of lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands as waste dumps. Before that, America's waters and people had been suffering from pollution, and many lakes and rivers became unfit for drinking, swimming and fishing.

In 2002, Cheney came up with the "Halliburton Loophole," which subverted The Clean Water Act and allowed mining companies to dump their toxic and dangerous mining waste directly into the lakes, rivers and streams. By redefining "fill material," the Bush administration opened the floodgates for coal mines in Appalachia to destroy streams with the waste created by mountain top mining. In 2004, the Bush administration expanded that loophole to allow even more dangerous dumping of toxic mine "tailings"—the chemically processed wastewater slurry from extracting gold and other metals.

Alaska's Lower Slate Lake, before chemically processed waste from
the Kensington Mine was stored there, and after. 

In Alaska, a new gold mine is pumping hundreds of thousands of gallons per day of toxic wastewater slurry into Lower Slate Lake, killing its fish and aquatic life. High gold and metal prices have triggered a mining boom that, without stronger regulation, threatens countless lakes, streams and wetlands in Alaska and throughout the country.

Alaska's Lower Slate Lake, before chemically processed waste from the Kensington Mine
was stored there, and after. ('Before' Photo by Pat Costello and courtesy of LightHawk). 

The Obama administration must close this loophole, now, and restore protections for our waters. Clean, safe, healthy water for all Americans must take priority over corporate interests. Please write to the Obama administration and tell them to close this loophole and stop the dumping of mining waste into our waters:

 Polluted Cabin Creek, near Leewood, West Virginia. (Mark Schmerling)

 via EarthJustice

1 comment:

Grace said...

It is a very interesting blog. Yes, everyone should protect water from being polluted. If all rivers, lakes, streams and and wetlands are polluted where else we can get water for us to drink. We should protect and take care of our nature. Hopefully Obama administration will close the loophole that Bush administration opened.

Mary from receveur de douche italienne 


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