A State Grand Jury indicted Bagdad Hillside, LLC, for allegedly discharging arsenic-contaminated water into a recreational creek in Northern Arizona.
Bagdad Hillside is facing three felony counts of Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Violations. In 2013, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality inspected the inactive Hillside Mine, located 4 miles north of Bagdad, AZ and found it discharging arsenic-contaminated water directly into adjacent Boulder Creek at a rate of 5 gallons per minute or about 2.6 million gallons per year. Bagdad Hillside allegedly owns the mine and the surrounding property. 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. It is not believed that anyone uses Boulder Creek as a source of drinking water.
Since 2013, ADEQ representatives have tried to work with Bagdad Hillside to stop the mine from discharging contaminated water. Bagdad Hillside 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.