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Idaho Gold Dredgers Plan to Protest EPA

Jill Lang

LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) — Idaho gold seekers say they will gather in central Idaho to run their suction dredges in the Salmon River to protest mining regulations.

John Crossman of the Southwest Idaho Mining Association of Boise tells the Lewiston Tribune  that the suction dredgers plan to gather near Riggins around the Fourth of July. Crossman says the goal of the protest is to remove the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from Idaho.

The EPA last year ruled that suction dredgers need National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permits to operate in the state. Permit regulations forbid suction dredges in streams with threatened or endangered species such as salmon, steelhead and bull trout. Indian reservations and rivers that are part of the National Wild and Scenic River system are also off limits.

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