Hecla Mining Co. has agreed to pay $600,000, under an agreement with the EPA and the U.S. Department of Justice, for releasing pollution into the South Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River over a five-year period, writes S-R reporter Becky Kramer. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency documented nearly 500 violations of the company’s discharge permit at the Lucky Friday Mine in Mullan, Idaho, between 2009 and 2014.
One of the mine’s tailings ponds was seeping water with heavy metals that flowed into a tributary of the South Fork, Kramer reports. Another tailings pond was improperly constructed, so that storm water runoff wasn’t properly addressed. Sediment in the storm water destroyed the water intake at a downstream fish hatchery. You can read Kramer’s full story here at spokesman.com.