NANA, mine operator to work with NPS
Further studies needed to address concerns
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the right decision. We are proud of what we have done so far and we intend to be providing jobs and opportunities through Red Dog for the next 50 years.”
Concentrate from the Red Dog Mine is trucked down a 52-mile road to port facilities on the Chukchi Sea. NANA provided lands to the National park Service that vastly extended Cape Krusenstern National Monument in a land exchange that made the road possible.
NANA provided lands that vastly extended the Cape Krusenstern Monument, and exchanged valuable lands at Onion Portage on the Kobuk River along with other rights to make development of the mine possible. The land exchange was recognized as beneficial to both the NPS and NANA. Because selection of this route for the road corridor allowed the road to avoid important subsistence and habitat areas, the National Parks Conservation Association and the National Audubon Society supported NANA in the exchange. All parties agreed that the route selected has the least impact on the environment.
Speaking to NANA's Board, Tom Chappel, Department of Environmental Conservation, stated that Red Dog ore has a low rate of biological uptake. Health impacts are highly unlikely due to roadway contamination.
The NPS study has provided us
with valuable information that is useful as we evaluated our transportation practices.” says John Key of TeckCominco. Prior to the NPS study, TeckCominco had already made ar- rangements with its trucking contrac- tor, NANA/Lynden, to replace the en- tire truck fleet this summer with new carriers designed to reduce potential for spills and for loss of concentrates
as “fugitive dust.”
“We have always had a philoso- phy of continual improvement at Red Dog and this is one of a series of improvements that we have made since the mine opened,” said Key.
TeckCominco sees the study as indicative of the need to further improve upon its transportation practices. Truck wash stations have been put in place and other dust reduction practices such as stilling curtains within the unloading areas are being prepared.
NANA and TeckCominco, the mine operators, provided logistical support for the recent NPS study, but were not included in any review prior to its release. While the study indicated metals deposition and the road as the probable source of the metals, it did
not provide information to answer the resulting concerns of the public regarding potential health or environmental impacts.
In an attempt to provide context to the study, the National Park Service compared the Cape Krusenstern dust- metals levels with those identified in a similar Eastern European study. On the surface this comparison indicated levels of metals were exponentially higher than levels found in Eastern Europe. This comparison has been highly publicized and has caused considerable concern to the local citizens.
While it seems a suitable compari- son on the surface, further investigation revealed significant differences in the study methods. The Eastern European studies, looking to document regional impacts, avoided sampling near known sources and they avoided sampling along roadsides. By comparison, the Cape Krusenstern study was confined to the areas immediately adjacent to the DMTS road. Additionally, the surficial dust was shaken off the European mosses before measurement, whereas the Cape Krusenstern study included all dust.
“We support studies like this one but we take strong exception to the choice