SILVERTON, Idaho – U.S. Silver Corp. has agreed to pay $87,000 in penalties to settle federal water quality violations from discharges of copper, lead and mercury into the South Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River.
U.S. Silver owns the Galena and Coeur mines and milling operations in Idaho’s Silver Valley. The fines cover permit violations and unpermitted discharges that occurred from 2008 to 2010.
In addition to paying the fine, U.S. Silver has improved its tailings pipelines to reduce risk of future spills, and encouraged employees to be vigilant in preventing and reporting spills.
“The South Fork Coeur d’Alene River and its tributary streams are struggling to recover from a century of mine waste discharge,” said Edward Kowalski, director of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Compliance and Enforcement in Seattle. “Companies need to ensure that they are not only meeting their permit obligations, but also investing in their plant and equipment to protect Idaho’s rivers and streams for future generations.”