In July 2015, the 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 almost as clean as it was before the mine was developed. The PCHB concluded their review by saying, “The conditions in the Modified 2014 Permit requiring the capture and treatment of all Mine-contaminated waters are reasonable provisions that attempt to make certain that the Mine does not leave a legacy of water pollution.”
Crown/Kinross appealed the PCHB decision upholding the 2014 discharge permit, this time in Ferry County Superior Court. In February 2017, Ferry County Superior Court heard and denied the company’s appeal of the 2015 decision, affirming that the PCHB made a well-reasoned decision after weighing the testimony. Crown appealed the Superior Court decision to the WA Court of Appeals. That case has been heard and is awaiting a decision.
Even though mining has stopped, the Buckhorn Mine discharge permit will remain in effect until all discharge of pollutants into the environment has been cleaned up.
The discharge permit is again up for renewal in 2019. (See below for details.)