The environmental issue can be defined as the problems associated with the system of the planet as a result of human activities or involvement of mistreatment of the planet. In this essay I will be discussing the environmental issue that impacts the western United States, where I will be concerned with mining as an environmental matter, deeply I will be looking at the iron mountain mine Superfund site found in a county known as Shasta in northern California, its impacts on both earth and humankind, the steps being enforced to do away with this problem and lastly my points of view and the opinions that I have on this environmental issue. ( Wright, Richard 2016).
According to the history, the iron mountain is the biggest copper producing site in the whole world, also ranked as the first in California and the six copper production site in the United States. In the course of its operations, it was realized that it contained not only copper but also other minerals like silver, gold, zinc, and iron sulfide was also found. (Jamieson, Robinson, Alpers at al. 2005). However, after a period of active mining at the iron, there emerged an environmental documented effect that led to the killing of fish in the river which was known as Sacramento, then this was subsequently followed by massive pollution of air which came from open air roasting heap and also the smelters which stripped on the vegetation. The pollution increased hand in hand with the increase in mining operations. Thus acidic water flowed down Sacramento River leading to killing of fish and also contaminating the water from the river which was used by the people for drinking purpose, thereby leading to release of uncontrollable of iron mountain acid drainage which could threatened the quality of drinking water supply being ranked as the most hazardous mining site in the world.
There are emergency activities and five longstanding remedies stages focusing on management of water, and the cleaning up of chief foundations in Boulder Creek, area source AMD releases and residues. The initial action is Emergency Actions which states that lime neutralization procedure was fixed at site in order to treat the acid mine explosion from the reservoir.( Nordstrom, 2009) This structure always worked out by EPA throughout the winter which had a rainy season till possibly answerable get-together, functioned under the same system throughout the rainy seasons. The second water management was doing cleaning ongoing, in the same case, EPA went ahead and carefully chosen its remedies elaborating some regions concerning the water Management zone. Its actions consisted of covering the designated fractured as well as it conceded ground choices, averting disinfected the Higher Slick rock Creek marine round the discarded rock and also the mining tailing heaps, to divert Higher Spring Creek; diverting the fresh superficial water in Southern part of Fork Spring Creek goal, broadening the Spiral Creek fragments wall for water storing, and carrying out hydro geologic trainings and the field-scale test protests to well defining one’s possibility used for generating the acid mining drain development. The demos of Educations and piloting remained accomplished, then EPA winded up covering the broken plus yielded earth zones also open pit for mining on the mountain called Iron Mountain. In addition, EPA also finalized digression on the Slick Rock Creek. Then Rhone-Poulenc finished building of the Upper Spring Creek deviation. However, EPA did not construct any among the two action as it was state in the plan they had planned not fabricated in South fork of Spring Creek Change together with expansion of Spring Creek Debris reservoir. In addition, it anticipated an alternate tactic of treating that abolished the demands for these water managing actions. EPA also strong-minded that a “barrier together with the treat” curative methodology which existed exactly realistic for the Slickrock Creek area basis and the AMD emancipations for an important drop especially where there was IMM area causes of AMD liberations highly desirable compared to the one wished-for South Fork of Spring Creek deviation or else expansion wall built..
According to Richmond Mine and Lawson Tunnel on the issue of AMD Ejections, EPA winded up its training of the natural occurrence and range in main opinion cause of impure foundations as in the Boulder Creek Watershed. Then EPA designated temporary tonic to make acidic mines draining ejections, the Richmond Mine and Lawson Tunnel by building, gathering as well as transmission of structures, and a lime counterbalancing action plant. The cure plant was constructed and has been operating and it will carry on, till another remedying may perhaps be established to ensure recuperating of metallic or also regulate the releases, to promise conferencing every clear-out goalmouths. Afterwards, EPA considered High Density Sludge (HDS) variations onto usage of plan as the costs aired modest mix course and made them to accomplished making of the needed reserve packing of accommodations. Moreover, Brick Flat Quarry dam was elevated towards establishment of thirty years period where storing volume curing mud. Amendment to the HDS progression has a compacted the amount of cure of sludge formed by an influence of above fifty percent.
Ancient Mine AMD Releases, there have been awareness creation natural occurrence and pollution degree that expulsions from the excavation seep which starts from the ancient mine. The EPA chose the acting cleaning and preparation, this comprised of amassing and curing acid to protect aquatic life and also drainage exonerations from the bases involved. An assemblage as well as transmission in the structure, and a treating it stay put up and treating these AMD discharges since year 1994. In addition to that, the Slickrock Creek zone Basis of these AMD releases where, completion of the part of its learning about the fauna as well as the magnitude of the capacity font, causing AMD release from the Slickrock Creek drainage found at IMM. As far as EPA was concerned, it looked at the remedy that dependent much on collecting and treating the polluted Slickrock Creek movements to create a significant surplus control of both IMM as well as AMD expulsions. According to EPA body it finalized treating clean water interruption scheme, this was large sedimentation sink, exterior water reins, minor earth fill mound barrage, as well as conveying channel to guarantee both the collecting and treating of the dirty releases towards the prevailing management plant. Negligible reforms to the IMM cure plant were essential for implementation, also facilitated treating effort.
In the Spring Creek Arm of Keswick Lake Residues, additionally to accomplishment, it’s the studying of the natural surroundings and point of pollution which was allied with deposits down gradient of IMM as they are situated in the Spiral Creek Support of Keswick Pool. Then EPA carefully chosen a tonic that offers ransacking both copper and zinc polluted residues from the Spiral Stream Support of Keswick Basin.
In 2008, it started building of the first phase of the tidying act by making structures of admitting roadways and clearance of discarding booth zone. EPA anticipates to winding up the building the infrastructural schemes as well as accomplishing polluted residue scouring procedures which has been succeeding 3 towards 4 years. The remedying was applied in the commencement in fall and accomplished three years later. Initial level involved of right of entry to road building, together with doing away with borrowing a pit zone as well as curbed dumping of capacity footmark. The next point comprised of the removal of many patches of deposit as a result of hydraulic rummaging, handling of residue by way of emerald, coagulant together with the polymers together with posting. The last stage consisted CDF termination, elimination of residue from the Twisting Creek Debris Barrier channel together with subduing lake as well as the execution in long term. ( Nordstrom, & Alpers, 1995)
Furthermore, the rock Creek Zone Cause AMD Liberations, the EPA carries on to accumulate statistics in order to illustrate the countryside and range of Rock Stream zone origin of AMD releases. Thereby EPA is enduring and studying the potential helpful approaches better of area origin of AMD expulsion from the Boulder Creek drainage.
EPA tidy the hypothetically accountable persons to apply the backup reply in right measures to do away with the metal contamination. In 1990, beneath Directorial Command, demanded the get-togethers for gadget in the Upper Spring Creek alteration clear-out deed. Later, it commanded for actually accountable revelries to accept obligation in operating together with maintaining accomplished cleaning activities. More so EPA demanded for the possibly accountable festivities in order for perception the cure system for the Boulder Creek Crisis. EPA gave an order for potentially in control get-togethers for contravening the assortment and conduct of organization for the acid mine drainage releases at places of Ancient Mine.
According to my research, I found that there emerged some impacts from the mining of copper on the iron mountain in California that affected human beings and on the earth. Starting with its Impacts on mankind, we find that the mining activities released harmful chemicals from machines, these products were deposited in the main river that was normally used by many people for their basic purposes such as drinking, washing, and cooking. This led to contamination of the water causing it to be acid, this accelerated to the formation of acidic water which was harmful for human consumption and also killing of aquatic life. Also, the machines released a lot of smoke and dangerous gases to the atmosphere, these gases led to pollution of air thus leading to the outbreak of diseases associated with harmful gases. This water could also not make it possible for growing vegetables and crops by human beings, this left them in a situation of hopelessness since they couldn’t cultivate their food for own consumption.
On the other hand the copper mining on Iron Mountain also had some effects on the earth, first led to reduction of underground water, this is because during excavation process all the nearby water wells had to be drained so that the process could be successful, this could result in the lack of water and eventually drought. It also led to the creation of a bad image of the land where the mining process was taking, this was a result of the holes which were dug in order to reach the minerals. Furthermore, it led to soil erosion, the mining areas were mostly left unfilled back to their original position, and this fueled the occurrence of some forms of soil erosion. Moreover, it led to collapsing of the sites were mining took place, when some disasters like earthquakes and heavy thunderstorms, this easily led to collapsing since the building rocks that strengthens the earth were being destroyed when the excavation was in the process aiming at getting the minerals.( Nordstrom, & Alpers 1999).
The above challenges had to be solved by using some strategies, then remediation struggles started with the winding up of Spring Creek Basin, it proposed avoidance of mine deposit from inflowing to Keswick Pool in addition to that, it focused on controlling the capacity of mine drainage getting in destined to the Sacramento River. This led to solitary slightly operational, as well as episodic occasions of harmfulness to the river persistent. Later RWQCB commenced with the application of actions in contradiction of the existing mine holders, Iron Mining Mountain developed the EPA Superfund Spot. Several years of spot valuation, more hearing, in addition, an alternate scheme plan shadowed. There was the construction of a lime counterbalancing cure plant which was used for bringing together and indulgence entire removal after excavation’s concealed mechanisms that are Richmond and Lawson Tunnel portals, excellently abolishing a biggest cause acid together with metal release. Other many schemes were also accomplished during that period, they included, averting clean water all over the place of the mine workings, close up the unwanted rock and tailings heaps, and fabricating an enormous basin on Slickrock Creek to accumulate drawn-out mineral waste then convey it to curing plant.
Then a concluding corrective element being finished over the year two thousand and ten., that convoluted rummaging plus elimination of contaminated residue which had gathered in the Spring Creek arm of Keswick Reservoir.
In addition to that, the air pollution which occurred as a result of combustion of the fuels in the mining machines could also be controlled, this was taken through by ensuring that the exhaust pipes of the machines in which combustion occurred, were fixed with some reagents which to ensure that the poisonous air released to the atmosphere was treated and be free from causing the dangers which it had being causing in the past. Also by recycling the waste from the mining sites had to be done where possible, this could avoid the dangers caused by the discharge of its waste into the river that supplied the people of Shasta County with water and also saving the aquatic life.
The issue could also be solved by ensuring that the mining sites are filled with soil in order to avoid the risk of collapsing when strong earthquakes and storms occur, by taking this into consideration, the hazards which occur in such places are adequately solved and they won’t occur again. In addition to that the laws that protect the land should also be enforced and ensure the companies responsible for mining are aware of them, therefore they should do their work as they are abiding by those laws and in case they go against the laws they must bear the consequences.
According to my view and conviction, this environmental issue has many hazards, like in mining we obtain valuable substance but also we create a room for disasters, therefore it is good to know how to prevent the risks which might occur after mining, subsequently, if a certain risk has occurred appropriate means should be used to eradicate them in the best way possible without causing another hazardous problem especially when it is something concerned to the health of human beings, the treatment like the one in of lime utilization of acidic water, it should not harm the human in terms of their health.
The efforts of EPA in ensuring that the issue of Impacts of mining follow a sequence for them to be achieved, it is put clear in the last part that, the results for the fitting and operating the complete scale counterbalancing system, the topping of areas of mining, and the building and the deed of the Slickrock Creek Retaining Reservoir for collection of impure overflow for cure have ominously abridged the acidic and metallic pollution in apparent water at Iron Mountain Mine site. These Onslaught deeds remain ongoing, the extra readings are on progress. Deviation of Upper Spring Creek devours critically improved capability of the Government department of Repossession and cope with the ongoing discharged pollutants on or after the place of diminishing destruction in Sacramento River system till the last cure could lead to chosen them instigated.