$65,000 Granted for Education and Evaluation of Contaminated Mining Sites in Sonora, Mexico

May 15, 2007

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Border 2012 Program has granted Dr. Raina Maier, UA SBRP and Dr.Diana Meza Figueroa,University of Sonora, $65,000 to educate communities and evaluate and test phytostabilization technology on mining sites in Nacozari (Montezuma mine sites located in Sonora), Mexico.

Working with Emily Pimentel, U.S. - Mexico Waste Management Coordinator at the U.S. EPA, Drs. Maier and Meza Figueroa submitted a project proposal that builds upon a U.S. EPA report entitled: “Stabilization Action Remedial (SAR) Report for Contaminated Mining Sites in Sonora, Mexico”.  The major recommendations of this study are couched in immediate and long-term goals.  The immediate goal is to “deter exposure by communicating to residents that they should avoid contact with mine tailings and educate residents on ways they can minimize exposure to protect themselves”.  The long-term goal is to “develop the best reclamation strategies for sites through vegetative, soil and rock coverings and then to implement operation and maintenance programs for their long-term care”.  Based on the recommendations of the SAR, this proposal has three objectives:  (1) Conduct educational workshops to help reduce exposure of the mining community to mine tailings, (2) Perform a large-scale phytostabilization field demonstration study at the Nacozari mine site, and (3) Determine the contribution of the Nacozari (Montezuma) site to the lead contamination found in the adjacent community