Target: John Tester, US Senator from Montana
Goal: Create plan to clean up 50 billion gallon toxic pit.
The Berkley Pit, the site of a former mine owned by the Anaconda Copper Co. in Montana, is currently the world’s largest Superfund Site. It is a 50 billion-gallon toxic pond, increasing in size every day. This past weekend, more than 3,000 geese died after landing in the pit to escape a snow storm. Although the pit has a water treatment plant to control toxicity, and a plan to prevent water from leaking out of the pit, there is no protection for birds and other wildlife, nor is there a plan to fully clean it up.
Superfund sites are areas that have been extremely polluted by industrial activity, mining or other environmentally threatening activities. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identifies these sites, and utilizes a variety of cleanup technologies to attempt to return them to functioning ecosystems. This has happened to over 400 sites in the US, and that number continues to grow. However, there is currently no long-term plan in place to clean up the Berkley Pit.
The EPA and local government stress that there is no threat to human health in the area. Even so, many environmentalists are not satisfied with the protections in place at the Berkley Pit. Many even claim that the water treatment facility, used to reduce toxicity of the pit, is simply the cheapest option, and in no way the best method for remedying the problem. The site requires a long-term plan for cleanup.
The water level is due to reach its critical level in 2023, when water from the pit will seep into nearby streams and groundwater. Sign this petition to ensure the site is cleaned up well before then, and not left to pose a continuing threat to the surrounding environment and wildlife.
Dear Senator Tester,
The Berkley Pit, the site of a decommissioned mine, has become the world’s largest Superfund site. Thousands of geese recently landed in the toxic pond while trying to escape a snow storm. More than 3,000 of these geese are now dead. If the site poses such a grave threat to wildlife, surely more rigorous protections must be put in place to prevent occurrences like this.
The water treatment plant that currently manages toxicity of the pit is clearly not enough. There is no plan to fully clean up this site, and no plan to protect wildlife like birds from dying in the toxic pool. The EPA and the local government must put together a proposal to clean up the Berkley Pit once and for all.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Kolopres