California gold mine to install new wastewater treatment system

Sixteen to One Mine will upgrade its wastewater treatment system under an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The California Gold Mine, located in the Tahoe National Forest, has agreed to install new equipment to remove pollutants from mine drainage.

EPA’s says the mine was in violation of its permit under the U.S. Clean Water Act for discharging mine-influenced water that exceeded pollution limits.

“Under the Clean Water Act, industrial wastewater must be treated before it can be discharged,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Director of the Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division Amy Miller. “These upgrades will be critical to protecting public health and water quality in Sierra County.”

The agreement requires the mine to treat for total suspended solids, antimony, arsenic, lead, nickel, and others to levels at or below permit limits.

The Sixteen to One Mine has 220 days to complete work including:

  • install an approved water treatment technology,
  • repair stormwater management features in disrepair,
  • update its stormwater management plan,
  • apply for coverage under the California Statewide Industrial General Permit.

The mine facility will be required to report sampling results to EPA for three years.

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