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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

8/20/2014 (7 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Nearly a million people affected by ecological disaster

An ecological disaster of momentous proportion is unfolding near the U.S. - Mexico border after a massive acid spill from a copper mine has found its way into waterways. Up to 5,000 school children will be kept out of 88 schools for a week as 800,000 people have been affected by the spill.

Officials are working to de-acidify the two rivers by adding heaps of calcium to the water. Acid levels are dropping, Mexico's National Water Commission said, but the water is still not totally safe.

Officials are working to de-acidify the two rivers by adding heaps of calcium to the water. Acid levels are dropping, Mexico's National Water Commission said, but the water is still not totally safe.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/20/2014 (7 months ago)

Published in Americas

Keywords: Acid spill, Northern Mexico, drinking water, school closure, Buenavista Copper Mine


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A faulty holding pond at the Buenavista Copper Mine spilled acid into two major Mexican rivers. Workers at the scene are now trying frantically to clean the area.

School children in the state of Sonora had their first day of school delayed because officials feared they may come in contact with the sulfuric acid-contaminated water.

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Both Bacanuchi and Sonora rivers spread the leakage throughout northern Mexico.

Both Bacanuchi and Sonora rivers spread the leakage throughout northern Mexico.


Ten million gallons of acids from the Buenavista Copper Mine spilled into the two rivers on August 6, posing a substantial threat to much of Northern Mexico.

Both Bacanuchi and Sonora rivers spread the leakage throughout northern Mexico. At least 40 thousand cubic meters of sulfuric acid over the course of five days have seriously polluted the Sonora River.

The acid caused an orange stain along a 37-mile stretch of the river bordered by the towns of Arizpe

The acid caused an orange stain along a 37-mile stretch of the river bordered by the towns of Arizpe, Banamichi, Vabiacora, Aconchi, Cananea, Ures and Hermosillo.


The acid caused an orange stain along a 37-mile stretch of the river bordered by the towns of Arizpe, Banamichi, Vabiacora, Aconchi, Cananea, Ures and Hermosillo. More than 20,000 people still remain without drinking water.

Mexico's National Human Rights Commission said it was investigating the incident. More than a quarter of Mexico's mining activity is located in the Sonora region, making it the country's top producer of gold, copper and graphite.

The leak likely stemmed from defects in newly built holding ponds at the mine.

The leak likely stemmed from defects in newly built holding ponds at the mine.


The leak likely stemmed from defects in newly built holding ponds at the mine.

Officials are working to de-acidify the two rivers by adding heaps of calcium to the water. Acid levels are dropping, Mexico's National Water Commission said, but the water is still not totally safe.

Lax regulations contributed to the problem, Arturo Rodriguez, the head of industrial inspection for

Lax regulations contributed to the problem, Arturo Rodriguez, the head of industrial inspection for the Attorney General for Environmental Protection claims.


The agency will continue to monitor water until most of the chemicals are gone.

Lax regulations contributed to the problem, Arturo Rodriguez, the head of industrial inspection for the Attorney General for Environmental Protection claims. The mine should have detected the spill before so much of the acid got out, he added.

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