Today's Local News: What happens when a mine has a catastrophic failure into a large river?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Jeremy Floyd, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. Yup. Look at the effects of the tremolite asbestos poisonings in Libby, MT due to the mine there. Over two hundred people dead and still counting in a population just over 2000. W.R. Grace and his board of thugs never were held accountable. Of course, he did the same thing in California years earlier when he dumped toxic chemicals into the river, killing and injuring hundreds of people in that town. Remember the movie, A Civil Action with John Travolta. Yep, that was W.R. Grace and his thugs at the source of that crime as well. So, the US taxpayers pay to clean up his superfund site and the cherry on top was when Grace charged the government to dump the toxic waste back into his closed mine. And, the prick still struts around in Libby like nothing ever happened.
  2. The question needs to be asked. Why is he still strutting around? There must be a lot of people with reason to end the strutting.:cool:
  3. Now, that is where things start to get really interesting. I suspect a whole team of psychiatrists could spend the rest of their lives working on that scenario. The short version: After a local reporter at the Spokane newspaper caught wind that there was a cover up in Libby, and uncovered the poisonings going on in the community, the board of directors at the mine confessed that their exposure to the tremolite could be potentially fatal. Most of the miners, needing the work (sound like we have heard that before) made the decision to go on working despite the potential health effects (I am sure the board gave them all the facts). It wasn't until the miners found out that not only had their health been exposed but they had likely taken the poison home to their loved ones, did they stand up against the company and force the board to do something. Many of the locals (including some who lost loved ones) never blamed the company. They actually believe that it came with the hazards of the mining industry and that the benefits outweighed the hazards. So, Grace filed bankruptcy, kicked in some money to the local hospital for treating the affected and most of the town people turned their cheeks and went back to their day to day.

  4. Before you make any plans, you should know that W. R. Grace died in 1904, and probably never set foot in Libby, Montana. The W. R. Grace Company was a large multinational even in the 60s when it took over the Libby mines. To my knowledge, the last executive from the Grace family was J. Peter Grace, who while he may not have been everyone's cup of tea, died in the nineties. I do not dispute the negligent and possibly criminal actions of the W.R. Grace Company in Libby and elsewhere.
  5. Thanks for the information. Most of the Libby friends that I still have talk about Mr. Grace still having an office in downtown Libby.
  6. Looks like a good recipe for trout-zilla. Or at least a dead fishery
  7. Do you have any pictures of the impacts on fish?

    Currently I know of tons of people freaking out, but unless I see proof of dead fish masses/other organisms affected, I am taking it as a "minor inconvenience" (relative to the grand scheme of course)
  8. I take thousands of tons of heavy metals dumped into our watersheds as serious issues. I don't need to see the end of all life to be concerned about the negative impact that this situation can/may/might cause. I am not saying you are wrong in your way of thinking. I think it is nearsighted and naive, at best, but not necessarily wrong.
    Evan Burck likes this.
  9. Hmm interesting.

    Just a little background, I like to get all the facts and numbers straight before I come to a full conclusion. With what has been getting down here to the valley, there is no reason to believe anything except for a flood accident has happened in regards to fish health.

    Trust me when I say I am more concerned about the sockeye that are going up the fraser. If they are unable to make it due to premature death, then the ecosystem is at risk due to a lack of nutrients.

    Certainly not nearsighted, or naive (at least in my opinion)
  10. Can you be any more dumb? Go away

  11. the full conclusion?? any company that cannot conduct their business without spilling toxic chemicals into our rivers needs to go the way of the do do bird.. they are criminally negligent.. it is criminally negligent to allow all those nasty poisons to accumulate like that period end of story.... this is proof that it cannot be done safely, just like drilling oil
    enlightened likes this.
  12. It's not good,
    Hmmm. Sounds a lot like the same argument that is used to justify Victoria dumping, oh, excuse me, "diffusing" its raw sewage into the Juan de Fuca.
  13. They usually do :-(
  14. Come now, why don't you just believe that it's happening? Why do you need proof? Apply the same argument to other environmental issues, heck - religion while you're at it.

    Poisons in rivers kill fish. Pretty simple.

  15. Years ago the TP&W did some research and found that the population of redfish along the Texas gulf coast was steadily declining. This led to further research and eventually they linked the decline to the constant dumping of toxic bi-products into the bays and estuaries by the petroleum companies (refineries). Through the work of the state fish and game and the state GCCA, new legislation to stop this dumping, the redfish population turned from its downward spiral and started to once again move back towards the mean population. It didn't take mass fish kills to awaken to a need to stop the made-made effects that was harming these fish. Science has proven time and again that most of these toxins create long-term insidious negative effects that might not be obvious to the naked eye.

  16. Because the preliminary results of the water quality test show the contaminants in the water are within safe drinking water parameters.
  17. They haven't tested all that muck yet. Nore have they looked at the sediment load on the gravels in that area used by shore spawning Sockeye. Where is DFO and their crew to charge the mine with putting all that sediment in Salmon bearing waters? That is a federal offense. This nonsense about it not being safe is a cop out of the first order. Five gallon bucket hung on a long line from a helicopter and you have your sample. Both governments are dragging their feet as much as possible. Both asshole governments took campaign money from that mine so it is really difficult to kick the mine in the gonads. I will wait for the private samples before I get excited about the readings from the government boys.

  18. I would not lend much weight to the testing then. If what Mr. Floyd cites is correct and...

    in FY 2013 "18,413 tonnes" of Copper and its compounds

    ...were dumped into waste lake then we have a problem. Copper in a solution is toxic to aquatic life in parts per billion quantities.


    Many species of freshwater plants and animals die within 96 hours at waterborne
    concentrations of 5.0 to 9.8 ppb and sensitive species of mollusks, crustaceans
    and fish die at 0.23 to 0.91 ppb within 96 hr (Eisler 2000)

    (I pulled this citation from this literature review

    A ppb is a microgram per liter. Care to do the math and figure out how many gallons of water 18,000 tones of Cu can make toxic?

    That assumes there was nothing else beyond the material deposited in 2013. And since this is likely fine sediments the metals will emerge anew with every high water event for years to come.

    This is why mines should be forced to pay ip front for proper storage and mitigation of mine wastes. If it makes the mine uneconomical, then screw 'em.
  19. In solution means the ions are not bound in soil particles/rock fragments, but are instead in the water itself (think a saline solution=salt in water)

    In this case the ions are not in solution and bound into particles. That issue will arise if there is hydrolysis whre the H+ ion replaces a copper ion.
  20. Depends on how the material is processed on site. I would assume (since from air photos it appears to be a placer mine) that there is a fair amount of "dirt" in the tailings lake. However, I could not tell exactly how the material was processed on site. In any event, Cu in rocks (particularly in fine material as the mine materials appear to be) readily dissolves in water. I would also guess some portion of the processing procedure involves reducing the source material to a powder and then some form of chemical extraction. I did not see a typical leach pit, but I would assume cyanide is being used to pull the gold into solution. Maybe that is offsite somewhere.

    In any event (like I said) I would assume the pulverized material readily yields a metal heavy solution when water passes through it.

    The same thing happened in the silver valley ID, and a number of other places where particulate materials from hard rock and placer deposits was left exposed to the atmosphere.

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