Activists Use Courts to Force EPA Rulemaking

On January 26, the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Idaho Conservation League (ICL) on its petition against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The ICL and five other environmental activist organizations filed a petition directing the EPA to promulgate financial assurance regulations required by section 108(b) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA). That law states that the EPA “shall promulgate” regulations requiring “that classes of facilities establish and maintain evidence of financial responsibility consistent with the degree and duration of risk associated with the production, transportation, treatment, storage, or disposal of hazardous substances.” The petitioners contend that 30 years have passed and the EPA has yet to issue any regulations.

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2016: E&MJ’s Sesquicentennial Year

The gold logo emblazoning this edition of E&MJ states it simply: Celebrating 150 years. Few trade journals can make this claim. Engineering & Mining Journal was originally founded as the American Journal of Mining in 1866 (See E&MJ 150 Years, p. 34). The publication established an early reputation for reliability and authority.

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How Will They Be Remembered?

The locals simply refer to the massive discharge from a local mine as the Mariana tragedy. This month’s news opens with the worst mining-related environmental disaster yet, the Fundão dam failure at the Samarco iron ore mine in Brazil. While one accidental release into the environment is one too many, this spill was different; civilians lost their lives. Beyond damaging the Rio Doce (Portuguese for Sweet River) and its ecosystem, this tailings release wiped out villages. In its news report, E&MJ offers a detailed explanation of what happened and the reaction from the executives at the two major mining companies that hold 50% stakes in Samarco (BHP Billiton and Vale).

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Canadians Usher in a New Era

During October, many Canadians voted for change and they got it. Justin Trudeau unseated incumbent Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Liberal Party secured a majority in the House of Commons of the Canadian parliament, winning 184 of 338 seats. Canada’s federal political system will experience a major upheaval as a different group takes control. What does this mean for the mining business?

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From the Editor

Steve Fiscor, Editor-in-Chief, EMJ, Engineering Mining Journal
Steve Fiscor heads a world class group of writers and editors serving the mining and construction markets. He has served as editor-in-chief for E&MJ since 2003 and Coal Age since 2001. He writes articles on mining and processing, organizes the technical programs for several conferences, and produces many of MMI's ancillary products.