Crown/Kinross 2015 Mine Report claims, “No Action Needed”
Kinross Plans Unapprovable
Each spring the company is required to report the results of monitoring activity. Once again the mining company has reported that “no action is required,” basically because it continues to ask the wrong questions. Lack of action on the part of the Department of Ecology has allowed Kinross to continue operating under outdated management plans, specifically the Adaptive Management Plan (AMP) and the Hydrologic Monitoring Plan (HMP). Two years ago, the current operating permit required updated plans that considered the water quality changes that occurred during the window of the first discharge permit. The AMP submitted by Crown Resources/Kinross Gold was basically the same as the one that has been in force from the beginning of operations, with no substantial reflection on its adequacy to address the current water quality issues. Ecology pointed this out, but has not required the follow-through that the permit requires. The company responded that what it submitted was adequate and that they would take no additional action…
The mine’s 2014 NPDES permit required the company to submit an updated Adaptive Management Plan to the Department of Ecology (Ecology) for the agency’s approval. The plan submitted by the company in 2014 was rejected by Ecology as insufficient. The agency asked for a revision and resubmittal of an adequate update, and nearly two years later, the company has failed to meet this requirement. The failure of Ecology to enforce the NPDES permit allows Crown to report “no action is required,” despite the spread of contaminants into the environment in violation of the discharge permit. Thus, once again, the Buckhorn Mine stakeholders will be going into another annual meeting at the mine without a functional evaluation tool. Action is needed. Ecology has a responsibility to follow through and order the actions required by the permits it issues.