Monday, October 03, 2011

Utah journalist sends updates on Rio Tinto - Kennecott

SALT LAKE CITY -- Sallie Dean Shatz, Utah photographer and writer and Keweenaw Now guest photographer, sends news of Rio-Tinto - Kennecott's mining operations in Salt Lake City.

In her investigative article, "Tall Tailings," with her photos, published in the August 2011 issue of Catalyst, an online magazine (pp. 12-14), Shatz writes about Rio Tinto - Kennecott's plans to mine their two billion ton pile of tailings from the Bingham Canyon Mine. Her statements about the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers are of interest to anyone looking for regulation by our federal agencies to protect air and water quality.

On the EPA, Shatz notes, "Large staff turnovers have erased institutional memory related to this issue. Impending budget cuts and the current Congress's attempts to strip the organization of its enforcement powers have made their job more difficult."

On the Army Corps of Engineers (whose job is to consider the Environmental Impact Statement when waters of the United States are involved in order to protect them) Shatz says, "The Corps appears to have a tendency to consider and then say yes: Nationally, it rejects only about one percent of the applications it receives and approves the rest with some mitigation."*

Shatz recently updated us with a Sept. 13 article on a land swap between Kennecott and the Mormon Church, which, she says, eliminates some issues mentioned in her August article.**

* Click here to read the Catalyst magazine article and go to p. 12 of the magazine. See also Shatz's photo of Tim DeChristopher in an article about his sentencing on p. 8.

** Click here to read about the land swap.

Editor's Note: See our April 28, 2011, article with Sallie Dean Shatz's photo of Meg Townsend speaking with Rio Tinto CEO Tom Albanese and Chairman Jan du Plessis after the April 14, 2011, Rio Tinto AGM, during which she spoke and presented du Plessis a petition from 200 doctors protesting the form of mining being used in Rio Tinto - Kennecott's Eagle Mine near Big Bay, Michigan.

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