MAC: Mines and Communities

Us Update

Published by MAC on 2007-08-30

US update

30th August 2007

In (hopefully) one of the last attempts by the Bush regime to defend indefensible practices by the US minerals industry, the adminstration plans to legalise the devastating practice of "mountaintop" removal - thus exempting coal mining companies from a 24-year old environmental protection Act.

In contrast, the Democrat-led Congress is expecting to pass stricter laws on health and safety in coal mines which may also apply to other types of mining.

Asarco - among the country's worst-ever polluters - has agreed to settle just over US$23 in claims for historical environmental damages. However, the estimated total amount required is around twenty times as much.

A July accident at Doe Run's St Louis smelter "robbed" the company of 6,500 tonnes of lead. Nonetheless, the company says it will meet the shortfall from its notorious La Oroya smelter in Peru.

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