YAVAPAI COUNTY– A Maricopa County Judge has ordered the owner of Hillside Mine, Bagdad Hillside, LLC, to pay $2,375,211.74 in restitution for the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality’s assessment and remediation of environmental damage to Boulder Creek in Yavapai County.
The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) in 2013 first discovered discovered that Hillside Mine in Yavapai County was the source of ongoing illegal discharge of arsenic-contaminated water into adjacent Boulder Creek at a rate of 5 gallons per minute or about 2.6 million gallons per year.
According to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, the owner of Hillside Mine signed three compliance by consent orders with ADEQ between 2014 and 2015 to come up with a plan to stop the discharge and to apply for the appropriate environmental permits. However, no plan was ever submitted and the mine continued the unpermitted discharge into Boulder Creek. The case was then submitted for prosecution and the company was indicted in August of 2017.
In 2018, the owner of Hillside Mine was convicted at trial of three felony violations of the Arizona Pollution Discharge Elimination System and ordered to pay fines and surcharges totaling $2,745,000. The latest restitution order brings the total financial sanctions against the company to over $5,000,000.