PHOENIX — Arizona environmental regulators have announced that a mining
company will pay $40,000 in civil penalties under a settlement for twice
illegally discharging water mixed with mill tailings into the Gila River in
The Department of Environmental Quality said Asarco LLC made the illegal
discharges when pipelines ruptured, spilling 846,000 gallons in June 2012 and
373,000 gallons in August 2012.
The discharges violated the federal Clean Water Act and state
Department director Henry Darwin said the discharges should have been
prevented. He said Asarco has made improvements that include relocating the
tailings and replacing the existing pipeline.
The settlement is subject to court approval.