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Hecla Mining agrees to EPA fines

Fri., May 29, 2009, midnight

BOISE – The Hecla Mining Co. has agreed to pay $177,500 in fines for violating federal clean water laws at its Lucky Friday Mine in North Idaho.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced the penalty Thursday for violations related to the mine’s wastewater permit.

EPA investigators say the mine exceeded discharge levels for metals such as lead, zinc, cadmium and suspended solids between September 2008 and February 2009. Discharges flow into the South Fork Coeur d’Alene River above the town of Mullan.

Hecla has agreed to spend an estimated $2.3 million to upgrade the wastewater system at Lucky Friday.

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