It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Thousands of Canadian snow geese dead after landing in toxic mine water

page: 1
15
<<   2 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Dec, 9 2016 @ 01:03 PM
link   
My hometown rarely makes national headlines, but when it does...

Smithsonian article




On November 28, an incoming snowstorm pushed a swirl of 25,000 snow geese into the vicinity of Butte, Montana, reports the Associated Press. That’s about five times as many geese as the city sees in a whole year. And in many places, such a large flock of the bright white birds with black-tipped wings would be exciting. But for employees at the Berkeley Pit, a 700-acre gaping hole filled with contaminated water, the incoming geese were a nightmare.


This isn't the first time this has happened. A much smaller flock landed in 1995 and the resulting bird deaths led to measures being put in place to prevent it from happening again. However, this flock wasn't easily dispersed.

Wiki Berkely Pit article




The Berkeley Pit is a former open pit copper mine located in Butte, Montana, United States. It is one mile long by half a mile wide with an approximate depth of 1,780 feet (540 m). It is filled to a depth of about 900 feet (270 m) with water that is heavily acidic (2.5 pH level), about the acidity of cola or lemon juice.[1] As a result, the pit is laden with heavy metals and dangerous chemicals that leach from the rock, including copper, arsenic, cadmium, zinc, and sulfuric acid.[1]


Not surprisingly, the Pit is a major concern for Butte. It is nearing the point where its water level will break into the groundwater - which would be a nightmare for the local environment as well as the people. There is a "plan" but there is literally no good solution for this problem. Its almost as if there needs to be an actual crisis before action, and while it is terrible that so many geese died, it might help address the real threat the Pit poses.




posted on Dec, 9 2016 @ 01:12 PM
link   
a reply to: OrdoAdChao

I hear about it on the CBC news the other day and found the YT clip on it



posted on Dec, 9 2016 @ 01:12 PM
link   

There is a "plan" but there is literally no good solution for this problem. Its almost as if there needs to be an actual crisis before action, and while it is terrible that so many geese died, it might help address the real threat the Pit poses.

There is no real solution to the problem, the damage is done. In order to clean up the site, each mineral and chemical has to be also 'recovered' from the mine. Each presents a specific process for refining just like the original ore they dug the mine for. Since metals occur together typically and the mining company was only interested in one or two originally, the rest are dumped with the tailings back into the mine or nearby in leach pits or tailings piles, ponds, whatever.

To refine all the minerals during theoriginal process would negate the profit margin for the metal they were after in the first place (copper). Cleaning it up is even more problematic. I don't care what they say, they will never clean it up. You wouldn't even have heard about it except for the bird die off.

The real threat as you say is the release of all those formerly sequestered minerals and chemical additives from the mining process leaching into the ground aquifers. Killing us softly...

The mining companies made their profit and have abandoned the site, just like the oil companies, the coal companies, the Agriculture companies.

Just like them birds, we are choking on the effluent runoff of our industrialized civilization.
edit on 9-12-2016 by intrptr because: additional



posted on Dec, 9 2016 @ 01:17 PM
link   
They need to hire this dog to keep the Geese from landing.




posted on Dec, 9 2016 @ 01:22 PM
link   
a reply to: intrptr

It's even better than that.

The mine is still operating, the pit itself is the abandoned portion. The company that created the Pit is long defunct (Anaconda Company) EXCEPT for the Pit. It exists as an entity of ARCO, which bought out the original company and shut down the pumps that kept the water from building up in the Pit.

Take a look at the google earth image on the Berkeley Pit Wiki. The pretty blue lake is actually an active tailings pond which we locals call Acid Lake. It is also extremely toxic, but because its in use, it isn't part of the Superfund. Yet. When the mine does eventually close, it will be, once again, the biggest Superfund in the nation.

edit on 9-12-2016 by OrdoAdChao because: clarity



posted on Dec, 9 2016 @ 01:26 PM
link   
a reply to: OrdoAdChao

They flew over my house about a week ago. It is very sad to me. I was disappointed that I saw the birds flying south for the winter, because I knew that it was going to get colder this winter than last. The mine should have followed the law. They probably could have found a way to keep the creatures isolated from the toxic water. It would take a large net or something like that, but I hope they get to see their day in court.



posted on Dec, 9 2016 @ 01:26 PM
link   
a reply to: Lysergic

Funny, there was a stray dog that lived at site named the Auditor, something of a local legend.

The Auditor's Obituary



posted on Dec, 9 2016 @ 01:28 PM
link   
a reply to: OrdoAdChao

Conveniently for them its a 'pretty blue lake' they can continue to dump their waste into. Coal mines do this too, its called Coal slurry ponds. Fracking is even worse, the toxic brew of chemicals is reinjected back into the well shaft after the well plays out.

These corporations have polluted 'third world 'countries round the globe this way, leaving a toxic waste site in their wake. Now thy are coming home to roost and treating our American Heritage Lands the same damn way.

grrr...



posted on Dec, 9 2016 @ 01:29 PM
link   
a reply to: intrptr

Would this be lke that time that mining company turned the river in Colordo yellow? Oh, no, that was the EPA, but they were from the government and were there to "help" so I'm sure what they did was A-OK.



posted on Dec, 9 2016 @ 01:30 PM
link   
There are quite a few measures in place. Huge horns and a stockpile of fireworks/blanks to try to prevent birds from landing. A net was proposed but scrapped because of the sheer size of the Pit - maintaining it would be a total nightmare.

Not that I disagree, there needs to be better measures - in my opinion actually addressing the problem of the Pit is required. Though, in the meantime, there needs to be a better fix for this problem. ETA: The current ones worked well for over twenty years, but this winter is setting up to be one for the books, and it really didn't help the geese that the weather went from very springlike to "OMG COLD" so fast in this swath of the continent.
edit on 9-12-2016 by OrdoAdChao because: see ETA



posted on Dec, 9 2016 @ 01:31 PM
link   
a reply to: intrptr

As opposed to China or Venezuala or old Soviet Russia where the governments ran ship-shape and environmentally pritine operations?



posted on Dec, 9 2016 @ 01:36 PM
link   
a reply to: ketsuko

I remember something about that. The problem with the mine in colorado was different. Not a pit mine but a shaft mine into the mountain following ore veins that are natural channels for water. The minerals in the water are trapped by the rock as they pass thru and the water comes out the mountain clean. When they mine along the water channel for the ore, they open the natural channel up and when it rains or they pump out the water it has to go somewhere, carrying all the other minerals with it, including heavy metals and the chemicals used in the mining process.

I don't remember the specifics, whether that yellow runoff was from heavy rain flushing out the mine or them pumping it out (while pretending to look the other way).



posted on Dec, 9 2016 @ 01:43 PM
link   
a reply to: ketsuko

No, because it wasn't the EPA who created the situation in the first place. They're there to clean up the mess of the company who created the sludge and then just leaves it for someone else to deal with it.

Are you one of those people who believe we should get rid of the EPA???

I don't understand why anyone would assume that removing the EPA would make anything better. Even if they can only be relied upon to do 10% of their duties correctly, it's still 10% better than it would be without them.



posted on Dec, 9 2016 @ 01:45 PM
link   
a reply to: OrdoAdChao


There are quite a few measures in place. Huge horns and a stockpile of fireworks/blanks to try to prevent birds from landing. A net was proposed but scrapped because of the sheer size of the Pit - maintaining it would be a total nightmare.

Read that costly. Poor mining company, reaping all that profit and spoiling the earth, then walking away. Migratory birds see the glint of water on high and come down to rest up along their journey. Its literally impossible to keep them from seeing the water up hi and wanting to naturally come down, bathe and drink it.

They play like, whatever are we to do, meanwhile they keep operations going and keep dumping waste. Just as long as they can get away with it. By the time theres an injunction from a court or a halt and desist order they will have moved on, changed names, moved the money to offshore accounts and started all over somewhere else. But they won;t be stopped , they pay off the local gubment to let them operate.

The rising cost and scarcity of metals insures they will be opening more new mies even those were once considered less profitable when metals prices were lower.



posted on Dec, 9 2016 @ 01:50 PM
link   

originally posted by: ketsuko
a reply to: intrptr

As opposed to China or Venezuala or old Soviet Russia where the governments ran ship-shape and environmentally pritine operations?

Nothing environmentally sound about these practices, by any nation. Problem is, more and more these are international corporations doing this and they are seemingly immune to prosecution.

You just look at the mess in the middle east and Africa and remember its about oil and other resources, not democracy or humanitarian reasons. Thats BS, generated to excuse the rape and pillage of the natural world for profit.



posted on Dec, 9 2016 @ 01:52 PM
link   
a reply to: OrdoAdChao

With the expense of those measures, and the problem still existing I have an idea that might work for them. They would have to drill a central shaft in the mine pit, and place a rebar-reinfoced concrete O block there (LARGE, expensive). Then, place a steel beam and hold it with a crane. Pour concrete into the concrete O block, then put posts that are engineered to withstand the extreme wind out there on the perimeter of the pit with concrete reinforcement. The center pole should be taller than the outer poles. Then, put a tent over it. It would look like a giant circus tent, but it would for sure keep the birds out. The only thing about it is that it might cost more than a million dollars. Even with the circus tent design, they could modify it to get the machinery in and out as they would need. That still wouldn't prevent eventual ground water contamination though...

edit: they could use a net (for less wind resistance). It would cost less, and still keep the birds out. As far as ground water contamination, I think about what happened with the oil fiasco in Flint, MI. I have no idea how they would prevent groundwater contamination.
edit on 12/9/2016 by InFriNiTee because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 9 2016 @ 01:52 PM
link   
a reply to: ketsuko

I have no love for the EPA - I blame a lot of the problem on their attempt to sweep the Pit under the rug. It is so costly and so huge that even the government agency that exists to protect the environment would rather ignore or throw money away on band-aid level solutions.

The Anaconda Company was a comic book super villain of its time. If you can think of an evil business practice, they had it. Terms and book titles like "The Battle of Butte" and "The War of the Copper Kings" attest to the companies long record of exploitation for profit. The copper from Butte mines lit the nation when electricity became the norm and had been a mining town for years and years before the Pit was ever conceived of.

To this day Butte and Anaconda people have higher instances of lymphoma and rare genetic disorders (such as Wilson's disease, which prevents the body from expelling excessive copper). Researchers have pointed this out but the reports meet a great deal of resistance the moment they are published and, much like the Pit itself, are swept under the rug.



posted on Dec, 9 2016 @ 02:04 PM
link   
a reply to: intrptr

It is a real mess, and has been for as long as I've been alive. The lack of action is really telling, in my mind, as to how big of a mess it really is.



posted on Dec, 9 2016 @ 02:42 PM
link   
This is a real environmental problem.

If only a tiny fraction of the money and efforts that goes into "global warming" went into real environmental problems like this.

Sadly Gore and the cult of global warming have overshadowed and marginalized real environmental concerns.



posted on Dec, 9 2016 @ 03:11 PM
link   
a reply to: InFriNiTee

There are quite a few ideas getting kicked around. A special barge that could be remotely controlled to set off propane explosions seems novel, and might work.

A giant net would be the best - there is no equipment entering the Pit, it's just a giant cup of poison. 20 years ago it was proposed and shot down due to the expense and might be cheaper now.

I am still more worried about solving the Pit - and if it can be solved or just has to be dealt with. We need to mitigate the damage regardless, though.
edit on 9-12-2016 by OrdoAdChao because: an apostrophe




top topics



 
15
<<   2 >>

log in

join