Issue Date: November 30, 2009
Selenium Contamination From Phosphate Mines
The article on Monsanto's phosphate mining in Caribou County, Idaho, erred by omitting that several of the company's mines in the area are under Superfund cleanup orders, and their current mine at South Rasmussen Ridge is and has been violating the Clean Water Act for years, according to Environmental Protection Agency officials (C&EN, Aug. 17, page 9). Watchdog groups have vowed to sue to stop development of new mines until proven control of prior selenium leaching has taken place.
This is very relevant because C&EN asserts that Monsanto is running out of phosphate supplies and relies heavily on sales of glyphosate. It is also relevant to the endangered Yellowstone cutthroat trout recovery in the area's selenium-contaminated streams and the constant spate of sheep, horse, and cattle deaths from selenium poisoning in the area.
Luke K. Ackerman
College Park, Md.
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