Photo by Howard Fischer, For the Courier.
Originally Published: August 2, 2017 6:02 a.m.
Owners of a Bagdad-area mine that allegedly has been discharging thousands of gallons of arsenic-contaminated water per day into Boulder Creek faces three felony counts for pollutant discharge violations.
On Tuesday, Aug. 1, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced that a State Grand Jury had indicted Bagdad Hillside, LLC, for allegedly discharging arsenic-contaminated water into the recreational creek.
“Bagdad Hillside is facing three felony counts of Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Violations,” the news release stated.
It added that in 2013, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality inspected the inactive Hillside Mine, located four miles north of Bagdad, and found it discharging arsenic-contaminated water directly into adjacent Boulder Creek at a rate of five gallons per minute or about 2.6 million gallons per year.
“Bagdad Hillside allegedly owns the mine and the surrounding property,” the news release stated, adding that according to tests, the water flowing from the mine contains arsenic levels that are more than 100 times the water quality standard.
“Boulder Creek is open to Arizonans for recreational swimming year-round,” the release added. “It is not believed that anyone uses Boulder Creek as a source of drinking water.”
Since 2013, ADEQ representatives reportedly have tried to work with Bagdad Hillside to stop the mine from discharging contaminated water, and the company signed three consent orders agreeing to file a plan to stop the discharge. “Those plans have not been submitted and the mine continues to discharge into Boulder Creek,” stated the news release.
Assistant Attorney General Adam J Schwartz is prosecuting the case.