Copper Mine Causes Air/Water Pollution in Nevada
Posted on behalf of Janet, Jenner & Suggs on Apr 11, 2013 in Consumer Alerts
We are currently fighting for environmental cleanup, medical help, and financial relief for residents of Yerington, Nevada. Waste from the formerly-active Anaconda Copper Mine has polluted the surrounding community’s air and drinking water. The EPA has concluded that uranium from the mine waste has entered the groundwater and traveled offsite. Testing has also revealed that many local residents’ well water is contaminated with levels of arsenic and uranium that are above the EPA standards for drinking water. We have sued Atlantic Richfield Company and British Petroleum for their environmental neglect and cleanup delays. Their neglect has resulted in the ongoing contamination of plaintiffs’ drinking water supply, ongoing exposure to toxic windblown dust, increased risk of serious illnesses and the diminution of property values.
The Anaconda Copper Mine first became operational in 1918, under the name Empire Nevada Mine. After acquiring the mine in 1941, Anaconda produced about 360 million tons of ore and about 15 million tons of waste before ceasing operations in 1978. At this time, the Atlantic Richfield Company (ARC) purchased the property. Improper disposal of its waste has generated such toxic substances as arsenic, boron, mercury, uranium and other harmful materials in the mine. The contamination was first discovered shortly after the mine’s closing by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Further investigations led by the United States Department of Interior revealed that groundwater in the area had been affected by the contamination. By the 1980’s, the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) requested that the ARC take action to remove these materials from the site and prevent further damage.
Although the ARC has been making efforts to remove the waste material, the process has been time consuming. Cleanup operations began in 1985 and are still continuing today. As a result, citizens of Yerington have been (and continue to be) exposed to the hazardous materials still remaining at the site.