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EPA settles with U.S. Silver - Idaho, Inc., operator of Coeur and Galena Mines and Mills, for Clean Water Act violations in Idaho’s Panhandle

Release Date: 09/24/2014
Contact Information: Jeff Philip, EPA Public Affairs, 206-553-1465,

(Seattle – Sept. 18, 2014) U.S. Silver – Idaho, Inc., owner and operator of the Coeur and Galena Mines and Mills in Idaho’s Silver Valley, has settled with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for alleged Clean Water Act violations at their Panhandle facility.

The violations outlined in EPA’s Consent Agreement and Final Order (CAFO) include exceeding their discharge limits for copper and lead at outfalls that discharge to Lake Creek and the South Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River. The Company also experienced an unpermitted discharge from near their settling pond to Lake Creek in March, 2014.

“Discharge permits set clear limits to protect water quality and habitat,” said Jeff KenKnight, manager of EPA’s Clean Water Act Compliance Unit in Seattle. “Companies need to meet their limits and eliminate unpermitted discharges, or risk serious penalties.”

EPA alleges that these events were violations of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), the federal law that protects water quality by minimizing or eliminating the impacts caused to U.S. waters from industrial and municipal discharges.

Both the permit violations and the unpermitted discharge were self-reported. In addition to agreeing to pay a $75,000 penalty, the company took immediate corrective action to remedy the situation.

For a copy of the CAFO for this case:

For More about how enforcement of the NPDES Program helps protect water quality in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska :