In our days, mining for resources is inevitable. The resources we need are valuable in everyday life. Such resources mined up are coal, copper, gold, silver, and sand. However, mining poses environmental risks that can degrade the quality of soil and water, which can end up effecting us humans if not taken care of and many of the damages are irreversible once they have occurred.
History and Case Studies of Mining and the Effects on the Environment
Mines pose a threat to the environment. They can degrade soil and water quality if left untreated. The United States Environmental protection Agency (USEPA)’s Region 9 assessment of state data states that there are approximately 420,000 abandoned mines in the states of California, Arizona, and Nevada with 13,242 of them being considered “abandoned mines with potential environmental hazard” (arizona.edu, 2008).
Left behind are tailings, which are large piles of crushed rock left over when minerals have been extracted from rocks that once contained them. These tailings are then left prone to wind dispersion and water ero…