Mine funds environmental projects in Okanogan County - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mine funds environmental projects in Okanogan County

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YAKIMA, Wash.- As part of a settlement agreement with the Washington Department of Ecology, the Buckhorn Gold Mine near Chesaw will be spending $180,000 on projects that will benefit the environment across Okanogan county. The first project will cost around $100,000. That money will be used to install a network of 17 rain gauges in the area where the Carlton Complex Wildfire burned acres of land. These gauges will be used to record and transmit precipitation data that will provide flash flood warnings to people living in the surrounding areas. They'll also be used to gather information about the impact of the fire and the environmental recovery.

A portion of the settlement money will also be used toward relocating a frequently flooded road at Lost Lake in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest and to support other wetland, habitat, and stream restoration projects in the area surrounding Buckhorn Mountain, providing a variety of benefits to fish and wildlife.

In July 2012, the Washington Department of Ecology fined Crown Resources $395,000 for water quality permit violations at the Buckhorn Gold Mine. In June 2013, the two agreed that $80,000 would be paid immediately and $180,000 would go toward funding environmental remediation projects in the vicinity of the mine to settle the penalty.

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