Help Stop Mine Waste Dumping

The Clean Water Act has been protecting our waters from harmful pollutants since 1972, but loopholes in this critical law are leaving many rivers, lakes and streams vulnerable.

Mining companies have been calling the toxic byproducts of mining “fill material” rather than “waste” in order to get away with dumping huge quantities of mining waste in streams and lakes.

Every day, mining companies working in forested mountains of Appalachia are destroying mountains and covering headwater streams with tons of mining waste – and the Army Corps of Engineers is letting them do it. In Alaska this past summer, a gold mining company was given approval to dump toxic waste into a 23-acre lake, despite the likelihood that it will kill the lake’s fish population.

Allowing mining companies to destroy our waters must end now.

The White House, along with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers has the power to close these loopholes that threaten critical wildlife habitats and poison our drinking water sources.

The Clean Water Act needs to be strengthened again to exclude these harmful materials from water construction projects. Mining waste needs to be safely disposed and not used as fill material.

Please join Americans across the country today in calling on the White House to put an end to this hazardous mining waste dumping.

– By Kolleen Kawa, National Wildlife Federation

Published: March 15, 2010