Abandoned Mine Lands and Collective Cleanup Efforts

June 18, 2018

Jerry K. Jacka

On 5 August 2015, a contractor working for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accidentally breached a plug of waste rock at the Gold King Mine near Silverton, Colorado. Unbeknownst to the backhoe operator responsible for the breach, the plug was holding back three million gallons of acid mine drainage laced with numerous toxic metals such as zinc, cadmium, mercury, lead, and arsenic. Within hours, the yellow-tinged toxic waters from the Gold King Mine spread downstream from Cement Creek into the Animas River, eventually making their way into the San Juan River until being diluted by their entry into the Colorado River. En route, the waters heavily impacted the livelihoods of farmers, fly fishing guides, and rafting companies from Durango, Colorado, to the Navajo Nation in northern New Mexico.

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Refugees on Their Own Land

Edolo People, Land, and Earthquakes

June 9, 2018

Peter D. Dwyer and Monica Minnegal

All the land customarily used and occupied by the Edolo people of Papua New Guinea (PNG) has been devastated by the swarm of earthquakes that commenced in late February 2018. Few outsiders, however, would be aware of that disaster. With media coverage of events in PNG soon deflected to “bigger” issues of money and the politics of resource extraction, the physical destruction wrought by the quakes has disappeared from view.

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