"YERINGTON, Nev. -- For almost a decade, people who make their homes in this rural community in the Mason Valley 65 miles southeast of Reno have blamed that enormous abandoned mine for the high levels of uranium in their water wells.
They say they have been met by a stone wall from state regulators, local politicians and the huge oil company that inherited the toxic site — BP PLC. Those interests have insisted uranium naturally occurs in the region's soil and there's no way to prove that a half-century of processing metals at the former Anaconda pit mine is responsible for the contamination.
That has changed. A new wave of testing by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has found that 79 percent of the wells tested north of the World War II-era copper mine have dangerous levels of uranium or arsenic or both that make the water unsafe to drink."