Boise, ID – Today, the Idaho Conservation League (ICL) and the Northwest Environmental Defense Center (NEDC) notified the Atlanta Gold Corporation of their intent to take legal action against the mining company to protect the Boise River, as new records show the company continues to pollute the Boise River in violation of federal law and a federal court order.
In 2012, the Federal District Court for Idaho ruled in favor of ICL and NEDC, and found Atlanta Gold had repeatedly violated the Clean Water Act by discharging high levels of arsenic and other heavy metals in the headwaters of the Boise River. The court ordered Atlanta Gold to pay a $2 million penalty to the federal government, upgrade its water treatment facility, and come into compliance with its Clean Water Act permit.
"Arsenic and other heavy metals in our water supply threaten our children, pregnant women, elderly and other sensitive populations," said Perry Brown, a local pediatrician who has been
tracking this issue. "The ongoing failure to protect public health, especially given the prior rulings in this case, is especially troubling."
New records show that the mining company continues to pollute the Boise River with arsenic, in violation of their permit and the court-ordered cleanup plan.
"Despite legal requirements to protect the Boise River, Atlanta Gold appears to be asleep at the wheel. As a result, the Boise River, and everyone who lives downstream, suffers the consequences. We’re simply asking that they live up to their end of the bargain," said Justin Hayes, program director at ICL.
After the 2012 court ruling, Atlanta Gold made changes to its water treatment facility. However, as documented in today’s letter, Atlanta Gold has already violated the terms of its permit 448 times since then.
ICL and NEDC are represented in this case by Advocates for the West, an Idaho-based public interest law firm.