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More than Our Share of Ice

Mine Tailings & Agriculture

From the Daily Journal, Park Hills, MO, some good news on what the EPA is doing: Area farmers critical of EPA ruling

PARK HILLS -- There was heavy criticism directed toward the U.S. Environmental Agency for banning the sale of mine tailings for use as agricultural lime during a public meeting here Thursday night at Central High School concerning the cleanup of the Elvins chat pile and tailings field.

David Moore, a farmer from the Bismarck area, said the EPA action halting the sale of tailings for agricultural use was done without any scientific information to support such a move. He called on the federal agency to come up with a solution to the problem at the Elvins chat pile that would allow the continued use of material for agricultural lime.

"Farmers have used tailings for agricultural lime for 75 years," Moore said, noting that until recently there have been no concerns expressed by the government. . . .

While he is not disputing the finding that plants do not absorb the lead from the tailings when it is used as agricultural lime, Morrison said the EPA's concern is about its uncontrolled use. Local farmers might be aware of the lead and cadmium content of the tailings, but those not in this area might not know about that and thus not be aware of the risks involved. . . .

Morrison said it is the EPA's position that the best solution regarding mine waste is to contain it and to halt the spread of it.

Mine tailings added to the soil used to grow food -- good God, the thought had never crossed my mind.

(Via Environmental Health News.)