Hecla Pays Partial Multi-Million Dollar Settlement to U.S. Government
BOISE – United States Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced today that Hecla Mining Company has paid the United States $77,460,997.30 pursuant to a settlement involving the Bunker Hill Superfund site in the Coeur d’Alene Basin.
In a press release dated June 13, 2011, the Department of Justice announced the settlement between the United States and Hecla Mining Company resolving claims stemming from releases of wastes from its mining operations. In that settlement, Hecla agreed to pay $263.4 million plus interest to the United States, the Coeur d’Alene Tribe and the State of Idaho.
The EPA began clean-up at the Bunker Hill Superfund site in the 1980s focusing on protecting human health. This settlement will help pay for the United States’ clean-up activities, securing natural resources, and restoring critical habitats to fish and wildlife in the Coeur d’Alene River Basin.
Hecla Mining has also paid damages to the Coeur d’Alene Tribe and the State of Idaho for clean-up costs. The United States will recover an additional $42,336,792 by August, 2014.
“Hecla’s payment marks the largest collection ever posted by the United States Attorney’s Office in the District of Idaho,” said United States Attorney Wendy J. Olson. “This historic recovery to resolve one of the largest cases ever filed under the Superfund statute compensates the United States for more than three decades of clean-up efforts, and establishes a strong basis for future cooperation between Hecla Mining Company, the tribe, the state, and the federal government. ”
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