Pollution decision upheld

— The Pollution Control Hearings Board has denied a Crown Resources appeal of the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit, thereby affirming that the water surrounding the Buckhorn Mine must be left as clean as it was before the mine was developed.

The July 30 ruling was in response to an appeal filed by Crown Resources — whose parent company Kinross Gold operates a mine near Buckhorn Mountain — disputing provisions in a water-quality permit issued by the state Department of Ecology.

Kinross Kettle River-Buckhorn spokeswoman Deana Zakar said the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit was issued February 2014 with provisions taking effect the following month.

“There are a number of key flaws in the permit that have left us with no alternative but to pursue legal action because various terms of the revised permit are unreasonable and based on faulty science,” she said. “Among other things, the new permit contains compliance limits that are below natural background levels and requires water from areas essentially untouched by our operations to be captured and treated.”

“Kinross has been slow to acknowledge and adequately address its water quality problems,” Okanogan Highlands Alliance Executive Director David Kliegman said.

Read the complete story in Wednesday’s edition of The Omak-Okanogan County Chronicle.


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