History says mine owners never responsible | TheUnion.com

History says mine owners never responsible

In a “National Wildlife” article entitled “Legalized Assault On Public Lands” (April-May 2008), Roger Di Silvestro addresses the issue of mining’s destructive effect on land and water. According to Di Silvestro, there are 500,000 abandoned mines in the United States today. He points out that the Mining Act of 1872, which is still in effect, allows individuals to buy mining permits for five dollars an acre. In addition, he states, these abandoned mines have destroyed 40 percent of the streams in the nation. Furthermore, owners have never been required to clean up and partially salvage the land and, water polluted by the mining operations, at a cost estimated to be 50 billion dollars.

Old mines, like those in Nevada County, have many tons of dirt in and around them, laced with mercury and other poisons. We don’t need more gold in this country. We need to clean up our land and water.

Wiley R. Martin

Grass Valley

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