April 10, 1996 in Idaho

Public Hearing On Mine Plan

From Staff And Wire Reports

Bonner County residents will have a chance Thursday to comment on ASARCO’s proposed Rock Creek mine, a huge silver and copper mine to be located in Montana’s Cabinet Mountains.

A public hearing on the company’s proposal and plan to pump mine waste water into the Clark Fork River will be at 7 p.m. at Sandpoint Middle School.

ASARCO officials say the mine, about 25 miles upstream from Lake Pend Oreille, will bring 355 well-paying jobs to the area. But environmentalists are worried the project will pollute the lake, which is fed by the Clark Fork River.

ASARCO is in the process of applying for wastewater discharge permits. The permits would allow them to pump about 2.5 million gallons a day of treated wastewater into the river and divert storm water runoff into Rock Creek.

Those opposed to the mine say ASARCO is using experimental technology to treat the wastewater and there are no assurances nearby rivers and Lake Pend Oreille won’t be polluted.

For more information on Thursday’s hearing or ASARCO’s proposal, residents can contact Erin Mitchell at the Montana Department of Environmental Quality at (406) 444-2475.

, DataTimes

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