Mining Companies Created a Dangerous Wasteland

Read the entire article in the NY Times and consider that nowhere in the article is there discussion that perhaps the mining companies should pay for the cost of rehabilitation, cleanup, relocation of the residents.

And maybe the specific companies who left this mess have been dis-incorporated, the money backers of the industry have moved their activities into a new corporate shells, so maybe you can’t go after the specific companies that created this mess, but you can levy a tax on the industry based on the cost of fixing the mess that the industry leaves behind. That approach would establish some incentive for clean industrial practices. It’s not there today as corporations can avoid responsibility by shifting assets, liabilities, and risks and allow “subsidiary” shell corporations to fold up, dissolve in bankruptcy, while the decision-makers continue this business as usual degradation.

clipped from www.nytimes.com

Welcome to Our Town. Wish We Weren’t Here.

TREECE, Kan. — Mayor Bill Blunk sees no reason for sugar-coating his opinion when asked to describe this town.
For most of the early part of the 20th century, this little city in the southeast corner of Kansas had the feel of a rollicking boom town, its prosperity coming from land rich in lead, zinc and iron ore. Part of a vast mining district where Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma meet, Treece and its twin city across the Oklahoma state line, Picher, became the unofficial capitals of a zone that in its heyday produced more than $20 billion worth of ore — much of it used for weaponry to fight World Wars I and II.
“It’s dead,” he said. “Wasted land.”

For most of the early part of the 20th century, this little city in the southeast corner of Kansas had the feel of a rollicking boom town, its prosperity coming from land rich in lead, zinc and iron ore. Part of a vast mining district where Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma meet, Treece and its twin city across the Oklahoma state line, Picher, became the unofficial capitals of a zone that in its heyday produced more than $20 billion worth of ore — much of it used for weaponry to fight World Wars I and II.

But when the last of the mines closed in the 1970s, Treece was left sitting in a toxic waste dump of lead-tinged dust, contaminated soil and sinkholes. On a hot summer day, children can be seen riding their bikes around enormous mounds of chat — pulverized rock laced with lead and iron. It is the waste product left over from mining that is the cause of so many problems here. Uncontrolled, it blows in the wind.

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