because several key legal terms remained unacceptable to Kennecott. EPA has now begun actions to place Kennecott on the Superfund list. Kennecott will resist this action and will simultaneously continue its waste cleanup activities. Good working relationships that have been established between Kennecott and EPA's technical representatives are expected to continue, even if an adversarial position develops over legal terms. The cleanup will be virtually complete by 1996, which is when the modernized smelter is expected to reach full production.



The expression "best contemporary practice" means the best available and proven technology appropriate to the situation, taking into account economic and environmental factors. The technology is to be supported by design, construction, operating, maintenance, and management methods of the best available quality and by active assessment and training programs.


Mining, the Environment, and Public Policy

Roderick G. Eggert

Mineral production takes place in stages. Both the principal effects of mining on the environment and the important issues for public policy in this area are perhaps best introduced within the context of this production stages.


Before a mineral deposit can be mined, it must be discovered and its economic and technical viability demonstrated, this is the exploration stage. The environmental disruption caused by exploration tends to be localized and minor. Most damage that does occur can be remediated relatively easily. During initial assessment of a region's geologic potential, explorationists rely heavily on satellite images, airborne geophysical surveys, and large-scale geologic maps to study large areas of land—hundreds or even thousands of square kilometers. Environmental impacts are essentially nil.

Explorationists then narrow the focus of their search to smaller, more promising


Excerpted with permission from Mining and the Environment: International Perspectives on Public Policy, Pp. 1–20, R.G. Eggert, ed. 1994. Washington, D.C.: Resources for the Future.

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