Court rules in Idaho silver producer's favor over water standards
Idaho State District Court in Kootenai County has issued an order in favor of Coeur Silver Valley, Inc. and against the State of Idaho in an action involving the State's regulation of water quality in the Coeur d'Alene River Basin.
TMDL standard-setting process was too informal, judge says
COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho, Sept. 7, 2001 — Coeur d'Alene Mines Corporation announced today that the Idaho State District Court in Kootenai County issued an order granting summary judgment in favor of Coeur Silver Valley, Inc. and against the State of Idaho in an action involving the State's regulation of water quality in the Coeur d'Alene River Basin.
Coeur Silver Valley, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Coeur d'Alene Mines Corporation. The court determined that the State's adoption of Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) for lead, zinc and cadmium in the South Fork of the Coeur d'Alene River should have been done through formal rule-making procedures as opposed to the informal procedures implemented by the State. As a result, the court held that the TMDLs were invalid and of no force or effect.
Coeur said it was pleased with the court's decision as the company believes it removes potentially costly but unnecessary regulatory requirement which could have adversely affected Coeur's Silver Valley operations.
In addition, the court's decision gives Coeur an opportunity to work with state and Environmental Protection Agency officials to develop standards that ensure protection of the environment but do not impose unnecessary costs on mine operations.
Coeur d'Alene Mines Corporation is the primary silver producer in the United States. The company has mining interests in Nevada, Idaho, Alaska, Chile and Bolivia.