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It took less than 15 hours for life in a Danube River tributary to cease to exist.

After cyanide leaked from a gold mine in Romania, the poison killed everything in the river. Not even bacteria survived as dead fish began piling up at a dam on the Danube 55 miles downstream. Even after the poison is diluted thoroughly, the heavy metals will remain on the river bottom for up to 10 years.

Proponents of the Crown Jewel mine at Buckhorn Mountain should take note: Cyanide is the same chemical Battle Mountain Gold plans to use at its mine to extract the gold.

The Washington pollution board has already ruled against the mine because of its lack of pollution controls and the amount of water it would take from nearby creeks that are already stressed.

The Crown Jewel mine was a bad idea to start with, but the recent disaster in Romania proves that it is not a risk worth taking.

Brian Clark, Seattle


 

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