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Mercury Emissions at a Nevada Mine

Impact of Metal Mining on Air Quality

Every stage of the mining process, including the ore extraction, generation of solid waste, and ore refining and processing, creates air pollution that has environmental and public health impacts.

Summitville Water Treatment

Wastewater Treatment Plants

Until the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency adopted a new rule in 2016, the oil and gas industry was allowed to dispose of wastewater at municipal wastewater treatment plants. But because municipal plants aren’t capable of handling toxic and radioactive substances, wastewater can contaminate rivers and streams when it is discharged after treatment.

Waste Pit Vernal H2S Warning

Waste Pits and Impoundments

Both liquid and solid wastes are stored at well sites in reserve or storage pits. Liquid wastes (as well as freshwater reserves for fracturing) may also be stored in giant impoundments that can hold millions of gallons.