Wednesday, December 26, 2012

ProPublica: Uranium Mining Sacrifices Drinking water


On a Wyoming Ranch, Feds Sacrifice Tomorrow’s Water to Mine Uranium Today by Abrahm Lustgarten ProPublica, Dec. 26, 2012

[Excerpted] As dry as this land may be, underground, vast reservoirs hold billions of gallons of water suitable for drinking, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Yet every day injection wells pump more than 200,000 gallons of toxic and radioactive waste from uranium mining into Christensen's aquifers.... 

Twenty-five years ago, the EPA and Wyoming officials agreed that polluting the water beneath Christensen Ranch was an acceptable price for producing energy there.

The Safe Drinking Water Act forbids injecting industrial waste into or above drinking water aquifers, but the EPA issued what are called aquifer exemptions that gave mine operators at the ranch permission to ignore the law. Over the last three decades, the agency has issued more than 1,500 such exemptions nationwide, allowing energy and mining companies to pollute portions of at least 100 drinking water aquifers....

...Federal regulators also have become less certain that it is possible to clean up contamination from uranium mining....

 Majia here: Uranium is to humanity what gold was to Midas.


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