Save Lake from Toxic Mine Sludge

Leaking Mine Pollutants

Target: Asarco LLC CEO Manuel Ramos

Goal: Properly dispose of orange sludge leaking from old mines near an Arizona lake

Leftover pollutants in the form of a foul orange and brown sludge are leaking from old, abandoned mines in Arizona that were not properly cleaned by the corporation that owns them. The goop was discovered by a resident of the area and is reportedly heading toward one of the state’s most beautiful sights, Lake Patagonia. Due to recent heavy rains, these pollutants could contaminate nearby creeks that lead directly to the lake, tainting a popular attraction and exposing many people to toxic chemicals.

The last of these mines closed in the 1960s, and it took almost 50 years for the state to get Asarco LLC to make an effort to clean up the leftover toxins that were produced by the mining efforts. However, it appears that only the most minimal efforts were put into decontaminating these spots, and now, five years after the settlement, the results of the company’s negligence and apathy are heading straight toward Lake Patagonia.

When mines aren’t carefully and thoroughly cleaned, rainwater that seeps into the ground can easily unearth old chemicals and other toxic agents and carry them outside the mine, contaminating the local ecosystem and causing the surrounding animal species to suffer. In the most extreme cases, such as the case in Arizona, they can get into the drinking water and popular swimming spots, exposing thousands of people to byproducts that can cause serious health problems.

By signing this petition, you’ll denounce the negligent behavior of Asarco and demand that it reinvest efforts to properly and thoroughly clean up the mines. Instead of doing the bare minimum, the company must show that it cares about the people and environment of Arizona by thoroughly cleaning up the mines as well as the leaking sludge so that this won’t happen again.


Dear Mr. Ramos,

In 2009, you made a settlement with the state of Arizona to clean up the mines that you closed in the 1940s and 1960s so that they wouldn’t leak pollutants and contaminate the surrounding environment and nearby water sources. Though you claimed to have done so, toxic orange and brown sludge has been found leaking from said mines and could potentially contaminate the popular tourist attraction, Lake Patagonia.

Due to your negligence and apparent lack of concern for the welfare of the state’s natural habitats and its people, thousands could be exposed to dangerous chemicals. Residents have already stumbled upon the sludge coming from your mines, and it is heading straight toward water sources that will lead to the lake as well as to local drinking water. This is completely unacceptable. You made profits off of the natural resources of the area, and it’s your responsibility to minimize any damage caused by your mining activities as much as possible.

I demand that you renew your efforts to clean up these mines, and to make sure you do it right this time. You must immediately address the chemical runoff heading toward Lake Patagonia, do everything you can to remove all of it, and ensure it doesn’t happen again by thoroughly and properly cleaning your old mines. Failure to do so could cause mass suffering of not only the surrounding environment, but also the people who live in the area.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Vojtěch Dostál via Wikimedia Commons

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