Greens Creek owner settles on Idaho EPA violations

Posted: Friday, December 05, 2008

JUNEAU - Hecla Mining Co., which owns the Greens Creek mine on Admiralty Island, agreed Thursday to pay thousands of dollars for Clean Water Act violations at its mine in Idaho.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency alleged that in November 2006, Hecla spilled 22,500 gallons of mine tailings at the Lucky Friday lead-and-zinc mine near Mullan, Idaho. EPA says 898 gallons of liquid mine tailings and 191 pounds of solids got into the South Fork Coeur d'Alene River.

Idaho-based Hecla didn't immediately report the spill to federal officials, as is required by law, according to EPA.

EPA said the company also failed to maintain its storm water controls and discharged liquid that violated its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit limits.

Hecla agreed to pay $85,000. The company will also provide $17,000 in emergency response equipment for the Shoshone County Fire District No. 3 in Idaho.

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