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Connors Drilling LLC and Kennecott Greens Creek Mining Company agree to pay $12,900 EPA penalty to settle Clean Water Act violations

Release Date: 06/12/2006
Contact Information: Contact: Eva Chun, (206) 553-1970, chun.eva@epa.gov Tony Brown, (206) 553-1203, brown.anthony@epa.gov

(Juneau, AK – June 12, 2006) Kennecott Greens Creek Mining Company (Kennecott) and Connors Drilling LLC (Connors) have agreed to pay a $12,900 penalty to resolve two alleged federal Clean Water Act (CWA) violations at the Greens Creek Mine. The mine is located on Admiralty Island near Juneau, Alaska and is owned by Kennecott. Connors is a contractor hired by Kennecott to conduct exploratory drilling operations at the mine.

On June 28th, 2004, Connors was conducting exploratory drilling operations near Zinc Creek. These activities resulted in a discharge of drilling mud and a discharge of diesel fuel into Zinc Creek.

“The mining industry is an important part of Alaska’s economy,” said Kim Ogle, Manager of EPA’s Northwest Regional Offices NPDES Compliance Unit, “but it must operate responsibly and manage its waste water in a way that protects the environment.”

To prevent further discharge of drill mud, Kennecott and Connors voluntarily placed silt fences and absorbent pads around the area to prevent more pollution from reaching the creek. They also began implementing new Best Management Practices (BMPs) – including better containment controls and employee training -- to ensure similar discharges do not happen again.