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Abandoned mine sites in the United States and Peru Comparing legal approaches focussing on sources of funding and the final stage in the cleanup process.

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Presentation on theme: "Abandoned mine sites in the United States and Peru Comparing legal approaches focussing on sources of funding and the final stage in the cleanup process."— Presentation transcript:

1 Abandoned mine sites in the United States and Peru Comparing legal approaches focussing on sources of funding and the final stage in the cleanup process ENVR 610 Foundations of Environmental Policy Ximena Insunza Corvalán December 1 st,2010

2 Overview The mining industry has been the motor of the economy in numerous countries such as the United States (developed country) and Peru. (developing country). Mining has produced not only economic well- being but also environmental problems. Abandoned mine sites have produced several impacts on human health and ecosystems alike.

3 Why should we care ? Environmental problems ◦ (Water) Acid Mine Drainage-Heavy Metal Contamination- Processing Chemical Pollution ◦ (Air) Particulate Matter ◦ (Soil) Erosion and Sedimentation ◦ (Ecosystem) Impacts in biotic community Health problems ◦ Exposure to contaminants in the soil, water and air.  Redevelopment of the area.  Recreational activities.

4 Comparison criteria

5 Counting the AML Peru ◦ environmental mining liabilities  25% abandoned mine sites (1.387) The United States ◦ A comprehensive inventory of abandoned mines does not currently exist. Federal Agencies and each state has its own inventory. ◦ Non-official estimates claim a total of abandoned mine sites.

6 Some provisional conclusions Despite the fact that Peru has a “strong” legislation, it lacks financial backing, which means that its efforts will result only in good intentions. In the case of the United States, it does have a considerable source of funding. However, the problem is large enough that since 2009 two bills have been discussed in Congress (The Good Samaritan Cleanup of Abandoned Hardrock Mines Act and Cleanup of Inactive and Abandoned Mines Act). Both, the United States and Peru have similar steps in their cleanup processes, but…

7 Some provisional conclusions Differ on ◦ Peru has established a period of time (Strength?) ◦ The United States has no deadline (Weakness) ◦ USEPA does a new review every five years until deletion of the list. (Strength) ◦ Peru has no strong monitoring system (Weakness) Neither the United States nor Peru have explicitly determined which are the appropriate cleanup standards. (lacks accountability)

8 Some provisional conclusions The public policies on abandoned mine lands in both countries have not addressed the entire problem….. But they at least have some regulations while a great number of mining countries such as Chile, Congo and South Africa do not even have legal tools in place.


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