Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I Go "Up The River"

The Toxic Chronicles, Part 3

Early in its history, Iron Mountain Mine was famous for being the most productive copper mine in California and one of the largest in the world. In recent years, the legacy of mining at Iron Mountain turned its fame to infamy, as the site is now known as the largest source of surface water pollution in the United States and the source of the world’s most corrosive water.

Where this says, "ME", is where I took pictures.

The Iron Mountain Mine Superfund Site is an inactive iron, silver, gold, copper, zinc and pyrite mine located approximately nine miles northwest of Redding, California. Historic mining activity fractured the mountain, exposing the mine to rain, surface water and oxygen. The main problem at the Site is the discharge of acid mine drainage (AMD) from underground mines and from area wide sources impacted by mining operations.

To the left is the new storage tank/land fill where the 35o,000 tons of toxic waste will be contained. The rectangle by Iron Mountain Road is a hydroelectric power station. This station will be able to increase it's output once the toxic sludge is removed. The spot from where I took most of the pictures is where it says; "I stood here".

This is the trail/access road that I hobbled down, and barely got back up. While I was taking one of my recuperative pauses, a jogger, wearing shorts and a flimsy t-shirt, went happily trotting by with a dog on a leash. I was trying not to breath the toxic dust too deeply into my lungs, and here was some runner, unwittingly, sucking that stuff in like it was healthy air.

This treatment facility will help clean the water so it can be released into the Sacramento river.

Nothing can live on the bottom, here.

The dredging will clear 350,000 tons of sediment from the creek.
The super dredge begins work in a couple of days.

I wonder what effect
the corrosive, acidic, heavy-metal-goo might have on the dredging machinery.

Will it become uselessly clogged
and corroded with contaminated sludge?

Will it have to be abandoned
to crumble and dissolve, so that it becomes part of the toxic putrescence it was built to dredge?

"...and the deep and dank tarn at my feet closed sullenly and silently over the fragments of the “Keswick Dredge.”
(Apologies to Edgar Allen Poe.)

Worn out photo-explorer Phil.

I took a lot of pictures
because I don't expect I will want go do that again.
Here is a link; TOXIC TREK

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

16 Tons - Tennessee Ernie Ford

All That Glitters

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