Nevada a bad neighbor state: Closing Jerritt Canyon gold mine said to be part of bigger battle

Nevada wants to keep regulation out of federal hands for selfish reasons

According to the Las Vegas Sun the battle over the huge mercury plume from the recently-closed (again) Jerritt Canyon mine is really over Nevada keeping control of regulating its gold mining industry.

Closing mine part of bigger battle. State wants to keep feds from regulating industry. Las Vegas Sun. By Lisa Mascaro

Well, of course. Nevada has a long history of exporting environmental harm to its neighbors. It didn’t begin with letting mercury poison blow into Idaho and Utah. They have plans underway to steal water from under Utah’s west desert and maybe even Idaho.

For years Nevada smelters sent toxic heavy metals and more traditional pollution into Idaho and Utah.In the late 1980s, there was a multi-billion dollar plan for a huge coal fired power plant in the extreme NE corner of Nevada where essentially all the pollution would blow out of the state.

The federal government itself used the Nevada desert as the site of open air atomic bomb testing whose radioactive fallout caused many cancer cases in Utah, Idaho, California, Montana, and places every further away.

Earlier. August 22, 2008. Mercury pollution investigation shuts down Nevada gold mine near Idaho border
March 16, 2008. Six Nevada gold mines are worse mercury polluters than Jerritt Canyon?
March 15, 2008. Nevada closes Jerritt Canyon Mine for mercury releases.






  1. kt Avatar

    And when we are talking about the gold mine pollution spewing from Nevada, we are talking about umpteen BILLIONS of dollars of profits annually that go to FOREIGN owned gold mines like Barrick and their ilk. AND nearly All of these massive exported profits come from our public lands that come under the control of the mining companies and are now being destroyed. And its not just the Footprint of the exact area dug out. By digging deep pits and underground areas, the mines drop the water table over the region.

    Aided and abetted by Harry Reid – the foreign miner’s best friend – big areas of northern and central NV are being turned into eventual wastelands. The toxic mercury is spread across the region. These mines also hold public lands grazing permits over millions of acres of BLM lands The foreign mines have bought out the grazing permit base properties as they have destroyed the watersheds and sagebrush landscapes surrounding them.

  2. HT Avatar

    You obviously believe everything you read in the newspaper — and even the Las Vegas Sun, no less. Reporter Lisa Mascaro has it all wrong. She is trying to tie Jerritt Canyon Mine’s troubles with the upcoming Federal Mercury Air Emissions regulations. They are two different animals.

    Nevada has done more than expected by quickly passing a state mercury emissions control in 2006. In the first three years, mercury emissions were down by 75%, and that number is on track to reach a 95% reduction. You seem intelligent enough to look at those numbers and realize that Nevada is on the right track. After promising Nevada they wouldn’t regulate mercury emissions, the feds made a back-door deal with the Sierra Club to create an unneeded federal program, in exchange for some extra time on another issue.

    Someone needs to ask the EPA about WHY they threw Nevada’s program under the bus. It’s just plain BAD GOVERNMENT, in my opinion.

    Bottom line, this short-sighted argument made by the Las Vegas Sun’s Lisa Mascaro, and regurgitated by you, is total nonsense.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan