This week's revelation of acid mine drainage problems at the Kensington Mine is a sad example of the unforeseen problems that inevitably crop up when industrial mining meets pristine watersheds.
That Couer Alaska, a company frequently heard touting its concern for the environment (slogan: Producing and Protecting), hid water quality violations from the Department of Environmental Conservation for several months is troubling, but not surprising.
DEC regulators apparently spend little time on the ground at the mine or reviewing Coeur's records since they only noticed the problem while flying over the mine. Given the poor track record of mining companies in protecting water quality across the country, perhaps DEC should keep a closer eye on the Kensington Mine. Who knows what other problems may be lurking there?