Tuesday, February 16, 2010

EPA Awards $225,000 to the Red River Restoration Group

(Dallas, Texas – February 16, 2010) The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $225,000 to the Red River Restoration Group. The group will use the funds to help the Questa, New Mexico, community affected by the Chevron Mine Site (formally known as the Molycorp Mine) understand information contained in EPA technical documents and assist in understanding the decisions that will be made related to site cleanup. Information developed by independent technical advisors will be shared with the rest of the community and will aid in the preparation of public comments and allow for more meaningful participation in the cleanup decision-making process.

While this is really great for the citizens of Questa, it is still not enough. The area has been so devastated by the impacts of the Molycorp mine, that it will never fully recover. Questa has the highest rates of cancer and asthma in Taos County. Well above levels you would expect to see in such a small community. The mountain that has been mined is a mess, and the downward slope leads straight to the river. There have also been numerous cases of well contamination which is, of course, difficult to pinpoint causality because of limited financial resources within the community. Put it this way, Questa is absolutely beautiful (as long as you don't up and see what's left of the mountain), but I would be just as likely to move there as I would to a property with oil and gas development on it.