In a surprising turn of events, last week, the European Union voted 402 to 118 to pass a law requiring companies to certify to the government that the minerals they source do not fuel violent conflict and human rights abuses, a piece of legislation that parallels –and improves on -- the US Dodd-Frank Act of 2010.
On May 1, the Department of Transportation (DOT) released their proposed rule to improve safety for high hazard flammable trains carrying crude oil. The proposal falls far short of what we hoped. Just last week, another train exploded in North Dakota signaling how urgently communities need protections to keep them safe. Instead, what we see from the DOT is a long-term plan that gradually phases in a series of simple changes designed to accommodate sending more rolling dangers through our towns.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Large scale, industrial mining disproportionately impacts women.
So they’re often on the frontlines, fighting dirty mining projects and demanding responsible behavior from mining companies. Perhaps because they’re fighting for their children’s future, these women are often moms.
Mirtha Vasquez, an attorney based in Cajamarca, Peru, has two young kids and a full caseload protecting communities from irresponsible mining activity in the mineral-rich Andean region. Yet she made the long trip to Wilmington, DE to join Earthrights International and Earthworks to attend Newmont’s Mining Company’s annual shareholders’ meeting. Together, we called on CEO Gary Goldberg to address the armed repression of protesters, untreated pollution, threats to water availability and other issues of concern to communities in the area.