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Clean Water Act violation nets Alaska Gold Corp $900,000 fine

The company that runs the inactive Rock Creek gold mine near Nome has agreed to pay nearly $900,000 to federal regulators for the mine's storm-water discharge violations two summers ago.

It's the second largest-ever penalty involving storm-water violations at a construction site regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's northwest regional office, federal regulators said Tuesday.

The mine operator, Alaska Gold Corp. said Tuesday it will pay the EPA $883,628 to settle the federal Clean Water Act violations. But first, the settlement undergoes a 30-day public-comment period; a federal court in Anchorage must approve it too.

Alaska Gold previously had been warned and fined by state and federal regulators for the storm-water problems at Rock Creek: state regulators first noted violations at the mine's construction site in 2007, EPA officials said.

Rock Creek began pouring gold in October 2008 but shut down the next month, saying it was unable to meet regulators' environmental mandates, among other problems.

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