Solutions for Animas River Toxins?

According to a Durango Herald article, plans using a synthetic foam, a passive wetland, and even sugarcane are the latest that members of the Animas River Stakeholders Group are considering in the battle against toxic waste coming from abandoned hardrock mines. The offending mines, near Gladstone, a ghost town north of Silverton, empty up to 800 gallons a minute of iron, cadmium, copper, zinc, and aluminum into Cement Creek, a tributary to the Animas River. In November, the group heard three reports on processes to manage toxic waste. Two reports involved treatment of water draining principally from five mines. The other dealt with toxics in waste piles such as mine tailings. All the treatment methods are test-proven, but their proponents want to expand from experimental to field-ready status. A limestone treatment operation was used to neutralize the toxins in the past, but was abandoned. The process is expensive and produces sludge that is difficult to dispose of. A couple of years ago, the stakeholders group, formed in 1994, tested an electro-shock treatment, intended to cause the heavy metals in the effluent to precipitate. But the system didn’t prove its announced merits.