The burning problem of hazardous waste

July 28, 2016 • Nadia Steinzor

Whatever the cause and however extensive, a fire’s sheer destructive power always captures attention. The recent explosion and fire at a New Mexico oil field quickly grabbed headlines with images of roiling flames, thick smoke, and stories of residents forced to evacuate. Concerns remain about air quality, the lack of any evacuation plan, and health as WPX Energy, owner of the site, let the fire burn itself out—releasing toxins into the air in the process.

It’s logical and not that unusual for a drilling site to catch fire; both oil and natural gas are highly combustible and flammable. Yet the photos from the New Mexico fire reveal that several tanks used to store waste were also burning intensely.

Town Hall Meeting: Transform the TX Railroad Commission

July 25, 2016 • Sharon Wilson

Since HB40 took away our right to ban fracking at the local level Texans need new ways to protect our homes and families. Now more than ever, Texans need our regulators, the Texas Railroad Commission, to rein in the oil and gas industry and protect our basic rights. 

International Seabed Authority: Protect Ocean Ecosystems

July 25, 2016 • Payal Sampat

Deep-sea mining sounds like something out of a science fiction novel – and indeed, the claims by companies hoping to extract metals from cobalt crusts, manganese nodules, and hydrothermal vents on deep sea beds do seem to have their basis in fiction more than fact. As yet, there are no viable deep-sea mining operations – but many companies and governments are hoping that will change.

Mine Waste Dumping: Batu Hijau

July 22, 2016 • Shreema Mehta

Each year, mining companies operating throughout Southeast Asia and the Pacific dump millions of tons of mine waste into oceans and rivers. Known by the industry as “tailings,” this muddy sludge is created during processing, when the desired mineral, such as gold, is chemically separated from the extracted ore.This is the first post in a series that highlight this worst of the worst practice --  — and the mining companies who continue to do it. For more information about the problem on a global scale, check out our infographic.

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Why IRMA’s Standard for Responsible Mining is a Big Deal

July 20, 2016 • Payal Sampat

The diverse organizations and sectors—labor unions, indigenous communities, NGOs, mining companies and downstream purchasers of minerals—that form the Steering Committee for the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) often get asked why we sit at this table across from other stakeholders with whom we don’t always see eye to eye. Given that we frequently see issues from very different perspectives, why do we choose to engage in this challenging, time-consuming work?

Save Dory’s Home

July 5, 2016 • Shreema Mehta

You may be one of the millions of people who have seen Finding Dory.

In the movie, the spunky Dory is looking for her home. But what if that home is buried in toxic mine waste?