RCRA Violations at Mining Operations In Nevada

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Joint letter from Great Basin Resource Watch and EARTHWORKS

December 18, 2008

Daniel Fernandez
Mailcode: WST-3
RCRA Enforcement Office
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
75 Hawthorne Street
San Francisco, CA 94105

RE: RCRA Violations at Mining Operations in Nevada

Dear Mr. Fernandez,

Great Basin Resource Watch and Earthworks congratulate and thank the EPA for the recent Notices of Violations (NOVs) for hazardous waste management at the Jerritt Canyon and Gold Quarry mines in Nevada. We request that EPA conduct similar inspections at the other mines in Nevada that produce and handle sizable quantities of mercury.

Great Basin Resource Watch (GBRW) and Earthworks are both non-profit organizations that work to reduce the negative impacts of hard-rock mining on communities and lands. Both organizations have been concerned with the production and handling of mercury at the precious metal mines in Nevada for many years.

As you are aware, the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection has required mercury emission and production reports for a few years now. Based upon these reports, we request the EPA to conduct hazardous waste management inspections at the following mines that produced over 100 pounds of mercury in 2007:

  • Twin reeks Mine — Newmont Mining Corporation
  • Bald Mountain Mine — Barrick Gold Corporation
  • Denton-Rawhide Mine — Kennecott Rawhide Mining Company
  • Coeur Rochester Mine — Coeur D'Alene Mining Corporation
  • Cortez Gold Mines — Barrick Gold Corporation
  • Florida Canyon Mine — Florida Canyon Mining, Inc.
  • Ruby Hill Project — Homestake Mining Company
  • Marigold Mine — Marigold Mining Company
  • Goldstrike Mine — Barrick Gold Corporation

Thank you for your attention to this matter of extreme importance.

Respectfully,

[SIGNED]

Dan Randolph
Great Basin Resource Watch
85 Keystone Ave., Suite K
Reno, NV 89503
775-348-1986
gbrw.org

Bonnie Gestring
EARTHWORKS
1612 K St., NW, Suite 808
Washington, D.C. 20006
202-887-1872
earthworks.org