07/26/2008 - Abandoned mines in California, Arizona and Nevada have "ominous" potential for causing more deaths, and government supervisors have ordered staffers to ignore the problems, according to a new report by the Interior Department's inspector general.
Based on visits to more than 45 abandoned mines, the report concludes that dangerous levels of contaminants such as arsenic, lead and mercury are present at sites easily accessible to the public.
"They couldn't state it more frankly that there's an urgent need for action," said Velma Smith, manager of the Pew Campaign for Responsible Mining, which has been urging lawmakers to pass legislation to address mine health and safety concerns. "They have a greater responsibility in light of this report."
Read the full article Abandoned Mines Pose 'Ominous' Threat, Report Finds on the Los Angeles Times' Web site.