The Department of Ecology has prepared a new wastewater-discharge permit for the Buckhorn Gold Mine near Chesaw.
The draft five-year permit will have more rigorous standards for pollution discharge than the previous one, according to Ecology. The permit regulates the creeks where the mine can discharge treated wastewater.
The permit would also allow the discharge of untreated, non-industrial stormwater to the ground, in compliance with Ecology’s water-quality standards.
Ecology fined the mine in 2012 after monitoring showed the operators failed to capture contaminants, allowing contaminated water to run into a nearby creek and contributing to a landslide. The mine has had 13 violations since it began operations in 2007. Ecology will make a final determination on the permit after evaluating all comments.