Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Lahontan Reservoir, safe or unsafe?

Lahontan Reservoir 

safe or unsafe?

When reading this article, please keep in mind these are questions? They are questions that any concerned parent or person would have if they were living under similar conditions. And as far as I know there is not a law against asking questions. The article is not intended to imply anything about the Churchill County, Fallon, Nevada area. Although their should probably be a better explanation given to the public about heavy metal contamination, other than scientific reports that only someone with a degree can read or understand.

  Today I thought I would ask a few questions about a local matter. For many years now we have known that due to mercury contamination of the Carson River in Nevada, that the fish in 
Lahontan Reservoir are not safe to eat, correct? In my research concerning the contamination of mercury, I found the government information to be mainly concerned about the consumption of the fish from the reservoir. I did learn that the contamination is throughout the water system and that the Indian Lakes area has the higher concentrations of mercury. I found little if any information as to how this contamination affects agricultural crops, livestock, wildlife or people. I also found little information regarding other heavy metals and contaminants that would've resulted from the same mining operation that caused the mercury contamination.
     Many are using this irrigation water from the reservoir to water their crops and in some cases water their livestock, is that safe? If the fish are contaminated how is it that the cows drinking this water are not contaminated or the milk they produce? If hay fields are irrigated with water from the reservoir how is it that these agricultural fields are not contaminated as well?  Lahontan Reservoir is also used as a recreational area in which people use the reservoir for swimming boating and fishing.(With the understanding that the majority of the fish, are catch and release and not consumed.) EPA does not consider mercury to be a carcinogen but it is a well-known toxin that causes nerve damage and with enough exposure mercury can kill you. As for the wildlife, some of the game birds and other animals that feed on the fish are showing high levels of mercury, but for some reason there there dosn't seem to be a limit on the number of birds you eat like there is a limit on the fish, why is that?
    As a kid growing up in Fallon, Nevada I spent many a summer day swimming either in the canals or the lakes and reservoirs. To this day I still wonder how many of my health issues are the result of being exposed to this toxic substance. What is even more interesting is that fact that if you have your well water tested, Mercury, lead and other toxic heavy metals are not tested for unless you specifically request to have those test done, why is that? You would think that if you were living in an area that was prone to heavy metal contamination, that the government would want to know what the current levels are? Although, I have been told by some lawyers that the reason for this is deniability. In other words our local government may try and play dumb should a serious problem arise. They will simply say," I didn't know" and thus not be liable for anything.
    The Fallon area has been my home most of my life. It would be hard for me to think of living elsewhere, but don't you think we deserve the right to know what were dealing with? If we are being exposed to a toxic substance, do we not at the very least deserve the right to know what is killing us? And with all that said could we at least get someone to explain it to us in a simple non-scientific, non-legalese language so we don't have to hire an interpreter? After all how many of you actually trust our government to look out for our best interests? 


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