The EPA is trying to clean up after a mining disaster at Wildcat Mining, which has moved to Brazil, and Cowboy Mining, which has closed. Man: See! Leave it to the government and they make a mess of things.
This incident, and Wuerker’s work is a perfect example of the environmental impacts of the 1872 Mining Act, that has damaged, destroyed, and given away, millions of acres of PUBLIC land. Yes, it was supposed to belong to the public, as in TAXPAYERS, but like the railroad grants, was given away to anyone wiling to steal it, damage it, and then leave it.
BTW: responsibility for safety on those abandoned mines falls on the states, not the feds. A California classic was a woman and her kids killed when she was driving off road and her Blazer went into an unmarked and abandoned shaft. This was NOT an unusual event.
Had a family go through the wire fence, broken down, at Swansea, standing at the edge of the crumbling shaft, pointed out the shaft was over 3,000 feet deep, but not to worry, if they fell in, they’d hit water at 1,000 feet and drown if the fall didn’t kill them. They stepped away and decided to heed the “Danger, KEEP OUT” sign after all.
There are MASSIVE dangers out there on these abandoned mines; spills of waste, shaft collapses, lots of ways to kill people and the land, and waters.
Then consider the TRILLIONS of dollars lost to taxpayers by giving the minerals away, the additional billions spent to clean up or install protections around mines, and there’s more than adequate reason to have done away with the 1872 Mining Act, decades ago!