Federal Judge Rules in Favor of Idaho Conservation League in Atlanta Gold Lawsuit 

click to enlarge Arsenic-tainted water flowing from an existing mine shaft.

John Robison

Arsenic-tainted water flowing from an existing mine shaft.

A federal judge has ruled on Sept. 19 in favor of the Idaho Conservation League, the plaintiff in a case against mine operator Atlanta Gold, stating that the company is still violating the Clean Water Act.

Judge Ronald Bush stated in his opinion that Atlanta Gold's mining operations leaked arsenic into Montezuma Creek, which feeds directly into the Boise River. The judge ordered the company to pay roughly $500,000 as restitution for the violations on top of the $2 million the company was charged in 2012, also stemming from Clean Water Act violations. Bush additionally found Atlanta Gold in contempt of court for failing to pay previous fines that were imposed last year.

The lawsuit was first filed by the Idaho Conservation League in 2011.

“Atlanta Gold has not fully made things right for the Boise River and Idahoans,” said Justin Hayes, executive director of the Idaho Conservation League. “The river is a major source of drinking water and recreation for southern Idaho, and it’s way past time for Atlanta Gold to step up and take responsibility.”

Atlanta Gold has not returned a request for comment, but previously told the Associated Press that the company is trying to mitigate the issue and is awaiting federal funds to do so. The contamination 


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