Location

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

Start Date

1-5-2014 10:00 AM

End Date

1-5-2014 11:00 AM

Project Type

Poster- Restricted to Campus Access

Description

Since the 2012 legislation allowing for metallic mineral mining in Maine passed, new mining laws have been introduced, and their formation has been controversial. While some see them as progressive, others are still unhappy about the loopholes that they provide. In this study, we looked at how protective the new laws would be of environmental health by looking at macroinvertebrate abundance and composition. This was done by analyzing case studies from other metallic mineral mines in the United States and abroad to see how the environment was impacted. We found that metal concentrations remain high at sites downstream from mining operations, even years after they have closed, which negatively impacts freshwater invertebrates. Based off of our results we recommend several options for improved waste treatment. In order to effectively treat waste, all mining waste must be contained and directed to a robust treatment plant to insure effluent is not toxic to the environment. Plants must be built to withstand extreme events, especially when considering climate change. Compounds removed during treatment must be effectively contained to prevent re-entrance into the ecosystem.

Faculty Sponsor

Russ Cole

Sponsoring Department

Colby College. Environmental Studies Program

CLAS Field of Study

Interdisciplinary Studies

Event Website

http://www.colby.edu/clas

ID

528

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May 1st, 10:00 AM May 1st, 11:00 AM

Reclaiming the Loopholes in Maine's Proposed Mining Laws

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

Since the 2012 legislation allowing for metallic mineral mining in Maine passed, new mining laws have been introduced, and their formation has been controversial. While some see them as progressive, others are still unhappy about the loopholes that they provide. In this study, we looked at how protective the new laws would be of environmental health by looking at macroinvertebrate abundance and composition. This was done by analyzing case studies from other metallic mineral mines in the United States and abroad to see how the environment was impacted. We found that metal concentrations remain high at sites downstream from mining operations, even years after they have closed, which negatively impacts freshwater invertebrates. Based off of our results we recommend several options for improved waste treatment. In order to effectively treat waste, all mining waste must be contained and directed to a robust treatment plant to insure effluent is not toxic to the environment. Plants must be built to withstand extreme events, especially when considering climate change. Compounds removed during treatment must be effectively contained to prevent re-entrance into the ecosystem.

http://digitalcommons.colby.edu/clas/2014/program/109