Duncan and Connie Creed say they no longer can enjoy the glow of sunsets in their backyard like they could when they moved into their Green Valley house 11 years ago. The reason, they say, is the stand of mine tailings just west of their home that towers like a huge mesa over the community.
The mining giant Asarco will pay Pima County its second round of civil penalties and environmental reparations in three years over tailings dust blowing from its Mission Mine in Sahuarita into neighboring homes.
Mining companies are trying to manage the problems with tailings, such as these at the Asarco mine near Green Valley. Among the procedures Asarco is using to control dust is spraying additives onto tailings to create a crust that's less likely to blow off.