The damn thing was closed. They started up again in March-

Thanks to Justin Hayes (Idaho Conservation League efforts), the incredibly toxic Jerrit Canyon gold mine in northern Nevada was shut down in 2008. I thought that was the end of this particular source of mercury pollution (more mercury than many coal fired power plants lumped together).

However, with little fanfare the mine started again in March 2009 with a promise to the state of Nevada to install pollution control by May 30. They didn’t, so they are shut down again. I wouldn’t count on them staying shut, however. Almost no one lives in the area, but the mercury blows north and northeast into Idaho. What incentive does Nevada have to keep them under control?

Nevada gold mine closed due to mercury emissions. By Scott Sonner. Business Week.

Rocky Barker analyzes the situation on his blog. Mercury spewing Nevada gold mine gets shut down again. Idaho Statesman.

It is important to note that there are many other Nevada gold pits pumping out mercur vapor. Jerritt Canyon was simply the worst one individually.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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