UN SAYS BETTER PROTECTION NEEDED FROM MINE RISKS
» A string of mining BILLINGS, MONT. waste disasters — some deadly — over the past decade show better protections are needed for communities downstream of massive polluted material storage sites, according to a United Nations report.
The UN Environment Program report tallied 40 significant mine waste accidents in the past decade. Most involved dams or other storage areas that failed, releasing torrents of polluted water.
Among the accidents highlighted by the agency were a 2015 dam collapse at a Brazilian iron-ore mine that killed 19 people and the Gold King Mine disaster in the U.S. that spilled pollution into rivers in three Western states.
Although the rate of such accidents has been falling, the report warned that the consequences have grown more serious as waste impoundments get larger. There are an estimated 30,000 industrial mines worldwide and hundreds of thousands of abandoned mines that spew pollution. — The Associated Press