Monday, June 21, 2010

Arizona's BP Disaster

Many people are appalled at the British Petroleum oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
Remains of Mining in Jerome

The death of human and aquatic life has been vast.
With the probable death of the fishing industry in the coastal regions of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama the impact on people's livelihood is projected to be equally as bad.
But, closer to home . . . 
What difference is there between the BP spill in the Gulf and the devastation of mining operations in the state of Arizona?
Because of its mining heritage, Jerome has become a tourist attraction.
But, also, typical of the boom/bust economy of mining, the mines closed in 1953 and the population dropped from a high of 15,000 to a low of 350 today.
What has been left behind?
Note, in the photo above, nothing has grown on the mine waste in nearly 60 years.
Why?
And what has happened to the poisonous compounds that have leeched through the waste and possibly into the groundwater aquifer below?