One problem in many mines, specifically in Butte is running into subterranean bodies of water. A fix for this problem was to use giant expensive water pumps to pump the corrosive water out of the mine. While this got rid of the water, it created the problem of polluting surface water with the toxic water from the mines. On top of that, as the temperature increased with the depth of the mines, the humidity also increased. This made for horrible working conditions for miners. Their working conditions also worsened with the use of pneumatic drills that, which hammered the rock rapidly instead of drilling the rock. The hammering created small rock particles that floated through the air and got into the lungs of the miners. These technical solutions helped the over all profits of mines, however were very damaging to not only the miners, but also to the environment.
Mining is a very difficult topic to debate, because similar to the lumber industry, it is usually extremely damaging to the environment, however there is a large demand for the products obtained from it. I believe that mining companies should be responsible for cleaning up old mines, and pay for damages to the environment that mines cause, however it can be very hard to keep companies accountable for that. The best system I can think of is requiring mining companies to have enough money saved up to be able to pay for the estimated clean up price of their mines before any mining even happens. Quite frankly I don’t know enough about environmental clean up to accurately decide whether or not it’s possible to 100% safely mine, however to increase the ability to clean up mines, mining companies should pay a percentage of their profits to organizations dedicated to finding solutions to the problems mines cause.