Forest Service Preliminarily Approves Simplot Mine Expansion Despite Ongoing Selenium Pollution

February 28, 2020
Today the Forest Service issued a preliminary approval for another expansion of Simplot’s Smoky Canyon phosphate mine in southeast Idaho, despite the mine’s ongoing selenium pollution. The mine, which began operations in 1984, was pulled into the federal CERCLA (Superfund) program in… More »

U.S. Representatives Decry Political Interference Over Controversial Idaho Mine

January 27, 2020
Washington, D.C., Jan 27 — Today U.S. Representatives Betty McCullom (D-MN) and Chellie Pingree (D-ME), who serve as chair and vice-chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee with oversight of the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), along with four of their House colleagues, sent a… More »

Stibnite Mine – An Aerial View

November 19, 2019 • Bonnie Gestring
Idaho’s Salmon River – known as the River of No Return – is one of the longest undammed rivers remaining in the U.S. – providing cold clean water and critical habitat for wild salmon. Midas Gold, a Canadian mining company,… More »

Rulemaking Information for IDAPA 2003.02 Docket 20-0302-1901

June 7, 2019 • Earthworks

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Trout Downstream of Smoky Canyon Mine Still Contain Harmful Levels of Selenium

June 4, 2019 • Earthworks
As federal agencies consider Simplot’s proposal to expand its Smoky Canyon phosphate mine, independent tests, confirmed by Simplot’s monitoring data, show that trout downstream from the company’s existing Smoky Canyon operations continue to contain harmful levels of selenium–a toxic pollutant that… More »

Tests Reveal Increased Selenium Pollution In Trout Downstream of Smoky Canyon Mine

January 10, 2017 • Crow Creek Conservation Alliance | Earthworks

New tests released today show that selenium pollution has substantially increased in trout downstream from Simplot’s Smoky Canyon Mine, with levels four times the criteria established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to prevent defects and reproductive failure in fish. Crow Creek Conservation Alliance and Earthworks released the results as they’re calling upon Simplot and federal agencies to accelerate clean-up and prevent future pollution as required by the mine’s operating permit.

Conservationists Win Lawsuit Against Mining in Idaho’s Frank-Church River of No Return Wilderness

August 3, 2016 • Earthworks and Idaho partners

Boise, ID – The U.S. District Court ruled in favor of conservationists, finding that a Forest Service decision approving a mining company’s plan to deploy bulldozers, dump trucks and drilling rigs miles inside the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness violates the Wilderness Act, the National Forest Management Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. The court decision invalidates the company’s mining plan and requires the Forest Service to conduct further analysis of the proposed mining exploration and evaluate less invasive alternatives for activities in the Wilderness.

Cabinet Mountains Wilderness

The Rock Creek Mine Proposal

Mining company Revett Silver is proposing to develop an enormous copper/silver mine beneath the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness in Kootenai National Forest of western Montana -- one of the original ten areas protected by Congress under the Wilderness Act of 1964.

Despite the fact that the mine would tunnel beneath a wilderness area in the United States, the Forest Service claims that the General Mining Law of 1872 leaves them no choice but to permit the mine.