ANCHORAGE, AK, Sept. 10, 2009 -- Teck Alaska Inc., owner and operator of the Red Dog lead and zinc mine near Kotzebue, Alaska, has agreed to pay a $120,000 civil penalty issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for alleged Clean Water Act violations.
The settlement includes a Consent Agreement and Final Order (CAFO) signed by Teck Alaska Inc., which resolves National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit violations and unpermitted discharges at the Company's mine and port sites.
Case documents illustrate violations that include the failure to collect representative samples of the effluent discharged, exceedances of the facility's NPDES permit's effluent limits, and discharges of unpermitted wastewater to the tundra near the Port.
According to Edward Kowalski, Director of EPA's Office of Compliance and Enforcement in Seattle, strictly complying with the Clean Water Act is a critically important part of any responsible mining operation.
"A big part of owning and operating a mine, in Alaska or elsewhere, is protecting health, safety and the environment," said Kowalski. "By minimizing environmental impact and strictly complying with all permits, Teck Alaska can contribute to the local and national economy without forcing Alaskans to sacrifice their water quality in the process."
The CAFO is effective immediately and the $120,000 penalty payment is due in full within 30 days of Sept. 4, 2009. By agreeing to and signing the Order, the Company neither admits nor denies the factual allegations set forth in the document.
For more information about EPA's work protecting water quality through the NPDES permitting program, please visit: http://yosemite.epa.gov/R10/enforce.NSF/NPDES/Enforcement+and+Compliance+in+Water+Programs