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Discharge Permit



The first Buckhorn Mine NPDES permit went into effect


The WA State Department of Ecology (Ecology) issued Crown/Kinross a $395,000 penalty–the largest in state history–for significant permit violations


The first Buckhorn Mine NPDES permit expired, but was temporarily extended due to complications from the permit violations


Crown/Kinross and Ecology settled the penalty for the permit violations, in order to break through the deadlock and start finding solutions to the water quality problems at the mine. The penalty settlement forgave all previous water quality violations at the mine, and agreed to a timetable for the issuance of the discharge permit and other provisions.


After over 30 meetings with the mining company and their consultants, Ecology presented a draft NPDES permit to the public for comment–OHA submitted over 200 pages of comments


15 months overdue, the second NPDES permit was issued, which Crown/Kinross appealed to the Pollution Control Hearings Board (PCHB) the next day


A six and a half day hearing began in front of the Pollution Control Hearings Board (PCHB) to hear the Crown/Kinross appeal of the NPDES permit Ecology issued in February 2014. OHA participated as interveners on behalf of Ecology.


Ecology published a second draft permit modification, which included NPDES compliance criteria in specific monitoring locations for specific constituents that more accurately reflect background water quality.


Pollution Control Hearings Board (PCHB) denied Crown Resources/Kinross’s appeal of the permit, affirming that the water surrounding the Buckhorn Mine must be left as clean as it was before the mine was developed.


Crown Resources filed a petition for review of the PCHB’s decision


Ferry County Superior Court Judge Pat Monasmith heard and denied Crown Resources/Kinross’ appeal of the PCHB July 2015 decision, upholding the NPDES permit


Crown/Kinross filed an appeal of the Superior Court decision to the Washington State Court of Appeals


The Washington State Court of Appeals held a hearing for arguments over the renewed permit
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