The CBC reports that, “Every resident in the small central Newfoundland community of Buchans (population 800) has been told they should get a blood test to find out if they’ve been poisoned by lead.”
“Buchans is built around an old lead and zinc mine that shut down in the 1980s.”
“Results from tests done during the summer show that an abandoned mine site that stretches over eight square kilometres around the perimeter of the community has dangerously high levels of lead and other metals (including arsenic, copper and uranium).”
“Residents sat in shocked silence as they were told they’ve been breathing in toxins from the old mine site for decades.”
“AbitibiBowater, which had been a partner in the mine, had planned to spend more than $2 million on remediation work, but that didn’t go ahead when the company applied for bankruptcy protection earlier this year. …(Now) the government is also promising to start cleaning up the site in the spring.”
This story is a tragedy, and we will need to work to ensure that the people who live in the watershed areas of Sandy Pond and other Schedule 2 lakes don’t share a similar sad legacy years down the road.
More on our campaign to stop companies from dumping mining waste into freshwater lakes can be found at http://canadians.org/water/issues/TIAs/index.html.