Judge: Mining Company in Contempt for Idaho Water Pollution
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A federal judge is holding the Atlanta Gold mining company in contempt of court for allowing arsenic and iron to enter a tributary of the Middle Fork of the Boise River. Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald Bush released the decision on Friday, ordering the company to pay up to half a million dollars in fines and penalties if they don't fix the problems by next year. The Idaho Conservation League and Northwest Environmental Defense Center sued Atlanta Gold Corporation in 2011, alleging the company was violating the federal Clean Water Act when it discharged water containing pollutants from a mining tunnel into Montezuma Creek. That case resulted in a 2012 order directing the mining company to fix the problems. In the latest ruling, the judge said Atlanta Gold had made significant progress but still allowing too much pollution into the tributary.