#Colorado fines #Boulder County gold mine $17,000 for #water quality violations — The Colorado Sun

Caribou Colorado late 1800s. Photo credit: Western Mining History

From The Colorado Sun (Michael Booth):

All but $5,000 suspended, as mine reclamation staff says owners of Cross and Caribou mines are making “good faith” efforts to get cleanup online.

The state Mined Land Reclamation Board imposed a $17,000 fine on owners of the Cross and Caribou mines for water quality violations, but suspended all but $5,000 of the penalty as long as Grand Island Resources continues “good faith” efforts to install containment and cleanup equipment.

The state agency’s staff largely endorsed the mining company’s presentation detailing completion of a filtration system for any water emitted from the historic mine above Nederland, and said they would continue on-site review of the improvements and water sampling…

The state board was reviewing a cease and desist order issued late in 2021 that said mine owners failed to make some required pollutant reports in March and April. When the state looked deeper, it found pollutant violations in those months, but also more alleged violations before and after, from December 2020 to last August. Violations included excessive traces of heavy metals, including copper and lead, that can be dangerous to aquatic and human health.

The state’s order charged the mine with violating the Colorado Water Quality Control Act. Water quality officials ordered the owners to build a new containment and cleanup system, and said it would determine the levels of fines in January.

Ed Byrne, an attorney for Grand Island Resources, said the company is satisfied with the outcome of the hearing…

The company will keep working with state and local officials to fully comply with permits, Byrne added.

An attorney for Save the Colorado, a nonprofit environmental group that is monitoring the mine, said the testimony before the board shows the mine appears to have remedied some pollution problems…

Cross and Caribou is not currently producing gold ore, but the company has a permit to build an ore processing facility and says it has been spending millions of dollars rebuilding tunnels and cleaning up past mine operations.

Grand Island said it will also continue to work with Boulder County, City of Boulder and Nederland.

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