EPA and Mining Co. Strike Deal Over Tainted Quarry

     (CN) – A six-year legal battle between the government and a 100-year-old mining company over a polluted limestone quarry is closer to a resolution. The EPA and Chief Consolidated Mining Co. proposed a deal in federal court that would require the mining company to pay for the quarry’s clean-up and allow the EPA to test the soil.

     According to a complaint filed in 2004, a limestone quarry operated by Chief in Eureka, Utah, had high concentrations of lead, arsenic and other pollutants. The mining company was told to clean up the quarry.
     The parties filed court papers last week calling for Chief to make annual payments of $225,000 per year for five years, for a total of about $1.12 million. These payments will satisfy obligations stipulated in a prior case, including a $60 million judgment and certain property transfers.
     The agreement also grants the EPA access to the limestone quarry to obtain top soil, limestone and road base material until Dec. 31, 2010. The mining company must also build an easement to allow the storage of road base material and/or top soil on a designated area of its property for Eureka for a 25-year period.

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