Nevada a bad neighbor state: Closing Jerritt Canyon gold mine said to be part of bigger battle

Nevada wants to keep regulation out of federal hands for selfish reasons

According to the Las Vegas Sun the battle over the huge mercury plume from the recently-closed (again) Jerritt Canyon mine is really over Nevada keeping control of regulating its gold mining industry.

Closing mine part of bigger battle. State wants to keep feds from regulating industry. Las Vegas Sun. By Lisa Mascaro

Well, of course. Nevada has a long history of exporting environmental harm to its neighbors. It didn’t begin with letting mercury poison blow into Idaho and Utah. They have plans underway to steal water from under Utah’s west desert and maybe even Idaho.

For years Nevada smelters sent toxic heavy metals and more traditional pollution into Idaho and Utah.In the late 1980s, there was a multi-billion dollar plan for a huge coal fired power plant in the extreme NE corner of Nevada where essentially all the pollution would blow out of the state.

The federal government itself used the Nevada desert as the site of open air atomic bomb testing whose radioactive fallout caused many cancer cases in Utah, Idaho, California, Montana, and places every further away.

Earlier. August 22, 2008. Mercury pollution investigation shuts down Nevada gold mine near Idaho border
March 16, 2008. Six Nevada gold mines are worse mercury polluters than Jerritt Canyon?
March 15, 2008. Nevada closes Jerritt Canyon Mine for mercury releases.

More on shutting down Nevada mine that released massive amounts of mercury into Idaho

Mercury-emitting mine in Nevada shuts down. “The owner of the mine just reported big losses. The operation sent tons of the toxic metal into Idaho’s air before a Boise activist pushed officials into cracking down.” By Rocky Barker. Idaho Statesman.

Mercury pollution investigation shuts down Nevada gold mine near Idaho border

The Jerritt Canyon mining and milling operations just south of the Idaho border have been shut down after it was found this gold operation was emitting 90 times as much mercury as your typical large coal-fired power plant.

Mercury pollution is one of the major arguments against coal-fired power plants.

Mercury pollution investigation shuts down Nevada gold mine near Idaho border. Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman.

– – –

Kudos to the Idaho Conservation League for helping stop this outrageous poisoning of Idaho.

[Justin] Hayes’ activism, tenacity forces mercury polluter to close. Letters from the West. Rocky Barker.

Added Aug. 25. Editorial from the Times-News. There’s a little less mercury to worry about today.

Wood River Valley: Wolf howls and water woes. The state of the environment in 2007

The Wood River Valley is a long, many-forked drainage that rises in southern central Idaho mountains and flows southward across the Snake River Plain into the Snake River.

It drains a large area of very scenic backcountry, mountainous frontcountry, and contains the towns of Hailey, Ketchum, Bellevue and Sun Valley, giving the area a much higher average level of wealth than the rest of Idaho.

For environmental, economic and political reasons, it is a part of the state that gets more than average attention.

This article is an overview of “environmental” events there during 2007. Wolf howls and water woes. The state of the environment in 2007. By Jason Kauffman. Idaho Mountain Express.

The biggest story, however, was the Castle Rock forest fire, which threatened Hailey and Ketchum and had a perimeter of about 50,000 acres. Castle Rock Fire brought valley together. Lightning-sparked blaze burned for 20 days near Ketchum. By Jason Kauffman, Idaho Mountain Express.

At the north end of the Valley begins the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, a large parcel of public land, managed by the U.S. Forest Service and set aside by Act of Congress in 1972 primarily for use as recreation and scenery.

Photo of Big Wood River near the southern boundary of the SNRA.

Posted in Fish, Idaho wolves, Motor vehicles wildlife, water issues, Wildfires, Wolves. Tags: , , , . Comments Off on Wood River Valley: Wolf howls and water woes. The state of the environment in 2007

Evidence of very serious mercury contamination of southern Idaho continues to build

Rocky Barker writes about it again today in his blog in the Idaho Statesman.

New mercury reports pile on more data that dangerous toxin is spread all over. Rocky Barker. Idaho Statesman. 

Posted in Uncategorized. Tags: , . Comments Off on Evidence of very serious mercury contamination of southern Idaho continues to build

Governor Otters keeps Idaho out of national mercury pollution permit trading program — good news!

Otter: Pollution trading program still unfit for Idaho. The governor also wants the DEQ [Dept of Environmental Quality] to expand its efforts with surrounding states to reduce mercury emissions. By Rocky Barker. Idaho Statesman.

Gov. Butch Otter wants to keep Idaho out of a mercury pollution trading program promoted by the Bush Administration. The program would allow companies to build mercury polluting coal-fired power plants in Idaho simply by buying pollution rights. Former Idaho Gov. Jim Risch first pulled Idaho out of the program in 2006, helping to kill a proposed coal-fired plant near Twin Falls.

Idaho has few mercury pollution rights to sale because it has few sources of mercury pollution. Instead it faces a steady rain of mercury pollution from Nevada’s open pit gold mine and adjacent refineries. Numerous lakes and reservoirs already have too much mercury in the fish to safely eat.
Read the rest of this entry »