Alaska Mine Owners Settle with EPA

Alaska Mine Owners Settle with EPA

Coeur Alaska will pay just over half a million for three separate violations and a fire for discharge violations that took place at the Kensington gold mine.

The Environmental Protection Agency has reached a settlement with Coeur Alaska, owners of Kensington Mine located just northwest of Juneau, over violations discovered in 2015.

“Coeur Alaska’s Kensington mine generates and manages large volumes of both wastewater and stormwater containing pollutants that can degrade water quality and seriously harm aquatic life,” said Ed Kowalski, EPA’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division director in Seattle, in a press release.

Coeur Alaska will pay $534,500 for three separate violations and a fire for discharge violations that took place at the Kensington gold mine. The violations were discovered during a joint inspection by the EPA and Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. 

Violations include: 

  • 200 wastewater discharge violations
  • Unauthorized discard or acid rock drainage
  • Improper operation and maintenance of sampling equipment
  • Multiple effluent sampling violations
  • Failure to develop a complete stormwater pollution prevention plan
  • Failure to repair a secondary containment structure for over a year
  • Failure to conduct required monitoring, assessments, inspections and training
  • Failure to use proper sample handling and analysis procedures
  • Faulure to report releases of nitrate compounds annually from 2013 to 2017

“By looking at the entire facility during the multimedia inspection, we had a clearer picture of day-to-day operations. Coeur Alaska can and must do better in order to comply with our fundamental laws that protect people and the environment,” Kowalski said.

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