September 24

US congress makes funding available for historic mine clean up

first_imgThe Northwest Mining Association (NWMA) has applauded the US congress’ decision to pass the H.R.1 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. This new act will, according to NWMA, create thousands of good-paying jobs in the west with the help of funding for the remediation of abandoned mine lands. The bill provides $125 million to the Bureau of Land Management for the ‘maintenance, rehabilitation and restoration of facilities, properties, trails and lands and for the remediation of abandoned mines.’ The U.S. Forest Service will receive $650 million for capital improvement and maintenance projects, which include efforts to remediate abandoned mine sites. The clean up of historic mine sites within National Parks is also eligible for $589 million in National Park Service construction funding.NWMA Executive Director Laura Skaer stated, “Most of the abandoned mine sites in need of remediation were developed prior to this nation even thinking about environmental laws or regulations. Mining took place in this country for one hundred and thirty years before the first environmental laws were enacted. I’m pleased that congress recognises that America benefited from these historic mines. It is therefore appropriate to use some taxpayer resources to clean up these abandoned mines.”In contrast to the unregulated era of mining of the past, today America has stringent environmental laws and regulations. NMWA: “Modern mines are safe, protect water quality and fish and wildlife habitat, and reclamation plans are in place and funded prior to the commencement of mining operations. Last year, for example, federal and state agencies in Nevada announced that they jointly hold $1.031 billion in reclamation bonds to guarantee reclamation of Nevada mines. The environmental protections and bonding requirements for modern mines work together to ensure that today’s mines will not become tomorrow’s abandoned mines.”The Northwest Mining Association is a 114 year-old, 1,965 member non-profit, non-partisan trade association based in Spokane, Washington. NWMA supports and advances the mineral resource and related industries, represents and informs its members on technical, legislative and regulatory issues, provides for the dissemination of educational materials relating to mining, and fosters and promotes economic opportunity and environmentally responsible mining.last_img read more

September 22

Some of the many things we learned from Chris Hadfields time in

first_imgBut seriously, how does he maintain that immaculate moustache?Surprisingly, it’s just a normal razor and normal procedure. We’re not sure if he’s joking about the vacuum cleaner here: What does one eat in space?Well, coffee and cake goes down a treat:What happens to our five senses?In a five-part series, Commander Hadfield explains what happens to the crew’s sense of smell, eyesight, hearing, touch and taste.Space doesn’t smell like a “spring garden”:Vision can become blurred, maybe because of extra fluid:Spicy food is king in space:Don’t bother screaming in space:A divided foot?And finally, can you catch some z’s in space? ASTRONAUTS CAN CRY in space but their tears won’t fall, they can brush their teeth but they don’t spit out the paste, they eat (relatively) normal food but can’t taste much and velcro is their most indispensable material.Not since Neil Armstrong walked on the moon have ‘ordinary people’ been so in tune with what is going on in the other-worldly realm of space exploration.But in the past six months, one man has made the work of countless scientists, engineers and astronauts more relevant than it has been in decades for those with their feet well-grounded on Earth.Commander Chris Hadfield’s use of social media to show us stunning photographs of where we live and provide us with informative videos about living in space have resonated with citizens across the globe.Not only has he entertained, he has also educated. So, what have we learned from the charismatic and moustachioed Canadian commander of the International Space Station? A lot, is what. We’ve been cramming:Can you well up, up there?You can cry, but your tears won’t fall:Where do you spit out your toothpaste?You don’t. Commander Hadfield even gave us dentistry tips from space: Column: Chris Hadfield is inspiring a new generation of astronautslast_img read more