"Government Rarely Intervenes as Calif. Mercury Mines Pollute Water, Fish"

"NEW IDRIA, Calif.  -- Abandoned mercury mines throughout central California's rugged coastal mountains are polluting the state's major waterways, rendering fish unsafe to eat and risking the health of at least 100,000 impoverished people.

But an Associated Press investigation found that the federal government has tried to clean up fewer than a dozen of the hundreds of mines — and most cleanups have failed to stem the contamination.

Although the mining ceased decades ago, records and interviews show the vast majority of sites have not even been studied to assess the pollution, let alone been touched."

Jason Dearen reports for the Associated Press September 18, 2009.

Friday, September 18, 2009