Kennecott has announced public meetings to discuss expansion of its open-pit mine, the largest in the world located in an urban environment. They will tell you how many jobs they create, how copper is needed for your iPod/cell phone and more. But the public now needs to ask about their numbers on the health effects of the expansion.
Kennecott's claim that its expansion will eliminate about 80 percent (thousands of tons) of harmful PM10 and PM2.5 particulates is based on a graduate student's thesis written 15 years ago and paid for by Kennecott. The thesis is hypothetical and not validated: 1) there was no model validation (i.e., no attempt to validate the model with real data), and 2) discussions and conclusions in the thesis give support to the notion that the results of the study are not reliable. There are many statements in the thesis that caution the reader about reading too much into the results.
Banked emissions are emissions that the company removed from the airshed in the past but is allowed to emit at a later time, or could be sold for others to emit. Kennecott's current expansion numbers are not actual emissions. On paper they show lower emissions than they actually will emit. Because the airshed is full, ask Kennecott to relinquish all banked emissions for the health of the citizenry.