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A SLIGHT DRAMATIZATION OF MONTANA’S “BAD ACTOR” LAW:

(And How It Could Help Save Our Lake.)

M

ontana was smart. Their Republican and Democratic legislators got together to enact a law declaring any mining company that leaves a huge environmental disaster behind, can’t start a new mine until they clean up their old mess. Makes complete sense. Well, Hecla Mining Co.s’ CEO was a key executive with Pegasus Gold Corp. which went bankrupt and walked away from three massive toxic sites. Montana has spent tens of millions of dollars trying to clean up cyanide, arsenic and other pollutants that leaked into neighboring waterways. Now, as you may have noticed from our illustration, Hecla wants to build the giant Rock Creek mine. It would be under a pristine wilderness area, along the Clark Fork River and could barrel into Lake Pend Oreille with similar long-term pollutants. So we have ridden to the rescue—along with other conservation groups—on the back

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of this law, urging the DEQ to enforce it. To their credit, they did. They have “barred CEO Phillips Baker from involvement in mining or explorations activities in Montana unless the statute’s remedial steps are completed.” I.e. repaying the state for all cleanup costs, all penalties and interest. But the fight is far from over. Rather than pay up, Hecla is challenging the DEQ’s decision. Which will mean more litigation, more court costs. If you love Lake Pend Oreille and agree it’s vital to our life and livelihood in North Idaho, please join our alliance. Visit our website, sign up as a member, send any donations you can muster. We need all the heroes we can find to help rockcreekalliance.org (208) 610-4896 foil these bad guys.

5/9/18 11:07 AM 4/18/18 12:18 PM

Sandpoint Magazine 2018  

In the face of the flames. This summer, Sandpoint Magazine is On Fire, with substantive information on our area's increased wildland fire ri...

Sandpoint Magazine 2018  

In the face of the flames. This summer, Sandpoint Magazine is On Fire, with substantive information on our area's increased wildland fire ri...