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The Latest: Alaska mine operator takes issue with EPA

JUNEAU, Alaska — The Latest on a settlement between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and an Alaska mine (all times local):

12:30 p.m.

A mining company says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has painted operations at its mine near Juneau in an “inaccurate light.”

The EPA recently announced agreements reached with Coeur Alaska over alleged discharge and reporting violations. The EPA says the company neither confirmed nor denied the claims outlined.

Chicago-based Coeur Mining, which controls the Kensington Mine through Coeur Alaska, says it agreed to settle for a penalty rather than “incur the expense and distraction of years of litigation.”

It says Kensington steadily improved its environmental performance and that there were “good reasons” to contest many of the alleged violations.

The company says it had been open in working with EPA to resolve citations it described as related to “mostly old” and technical compliance issues.


9:40 a.m.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it has reached a settlement with the operator of a gold mine northwest of Juneau over alleged discharge violations.

The Juneau Empire reports Coeur Alaska will pay $534,500 for alleged discharge violations and a reporting failure associated with the Kensington mine.

Officials say the violations were discovered in 2015 during a joint inspection by the EPA and Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.

The EPA, in a release, said Coeur Alaska, as part of the agreements, neither confirms nor denies the claims outlined. A message seeking comment was left for a spokesman at the Chicago-based Coeur Mining, the mine’s parent company.

The EPA says the agreement resolves a series of alleged violations, including wastewater discharges and failure to conduct required monitoring, inspections and trainings.


Information from: Juneau (Alaska) Empire, http://www.juneauempire.com

The Associated Press