Archives for posts with tag: mining

From Deseret News:

These days, Steve Norcross glimpses less and less of the sun setting from his front lawn in Magna, but tonight, he looks up and sees the clouds are turning peach and gray, with a slightly brown haze on the horizon.

“Pretty nice view, huh?” he asks with a smile, and a slight edge to his voice. Over his shoulder to the west, there is a berm, a hill and a giant yellow and black sign painted on the side of a Kennecott Utah Copper building that reads: “It’s your safety — think about it.” The message makes Norcross bristle.

Norcross lives across the street from the southeast corner of Kennecott’s south tailings pond, a massive holding area for the pulverized rock that’s been stripped of all value during the mining process and crushed to a powder-like substance. The site has caused conflict in the community over its instability in the event of an earthquake and several incidents in the late 1980s when thick clouds of tailings covered the town. Now, as Kennecott looks to expand their operations until 2039, the company has applied for a permit to increase their tailings impoundment, including building on a portion of the south pond — the idea of which makes Norcross angry.

“This is about profit,” he says. “That is all this is about. … The residents of Magna are not a concern. … For me, it’s about quality of life. It’s about being able to live in the town you grew up in, and live peacefully and not worry about health and not worry about big man-made mountains blocking the sunset. It’s about my kids and grandkids.”

Norcross has embroiled himself in a battle that wages between the world’s need for natural resources, a company that serves that appetite and an environment that will be indelibly impacted by the decisions made today. Stricter government regulations and programs like Superfund have helped companies like Kennecott assume more environmental responsibility for their operations, but when it comes to Kennecott’s assurances that its plans will be safe for the environment and his family, Norcross is not convinced, and he is not alone.

More.

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From VBS TV:

Meredith Danluck is a New York artist, director, and all-around amazing person who has a killer collection of power tools. VBS bumped into her a few months ago and discovered that she has been working on a film in West Virginia, a sort of impressionistic account of the current environmental catastrophe in the Appalachian Mountains. Mining companies are destroying entire mountains in order to get at the coal inside them. Quickly and efficiently, the oldest mountain range in the world is being systematically obliterated. We sent Meredith and VBS correspondent Derrick Beckles to the hills and hollers of West Virginia to show us what the end of the world looks like.

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