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Mining firm pays $6.8 million for N. Idaho pollution

Tue., Feb. 15, 2011, 9 a.m.

BOISE — A big mining company whose activities polluted North Idaho’s Silver Valley must pay federal, state and tribal governments nearly $6.8 million in a settlement over natural resource damages.

U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson announced that Atlantic Richfield Co. has paid $5 million in a settlement stemming from hazardous substances released into the environment from the Bunker Hill Superfund site in North Idaho.

The U.S. Department of the Interior, Department of Agriculture, the Coeur d’Alene Tribe and Idaho also received about $1.7 million for natural resources damages in the settlement.

The historic mining district surrounding the Bunker Hill site was declared a Superfund site — one of the nation’s most polluted areas — in 1983 after decades of mining activities left waterways and surrounding land polluted with heavy metals.



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