Water Issues

Dewatering affect on wells

  • Mine Dewatering will cause ground water levels to recede.
  • If my well is affected (i.e. I lose my well or my flow rate is significantly reduced) due to the proposed dewatering of the Idaho Maryland Mine, I may be provided with NID water. Who will pay for the NID water? Will I have to buy water from NID in perpetuity? How long will IMM pay my NID bill? How long will it take to build NID pipes to my house if my well fails?
  • Due to complex geology, it is difficult if not impossible to predict the area impacted by the mine dewatering.
  • If I live in an area not considered at risk from dewatering by IMM, will IMM step up to the plate and mitigate my lost or compromised well?

Water Pollution

  • Will the IMM really be able to keep all the toxins from 72 miles of underground shafts out of Wolf Creek?
  • IMM claims these extensive tunnels are completely separate from the other surrounding mines with confirmed acid mine waste pollution problems. Is there any way of knowing this is true? Isn't there potential for mine seeps?
  • According to the IMM approximately half of the toxic tailings removed from the mine will be turned into a slurry and used to backfill used shafts.
  • Isn't this a guarantee of future acid mine waste problems?
  • How will effluent from the IMM be monitored?
  • If pollution is detected, how will the discharge be stopped? The NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Discharge) permit only requires water testing on average every 30 days. Would this allow the accidental or occasional, dumping of toxins into Wolf Creek?

    Read about how current mine operators’ predictions of water quality compare to reality

DeWatering affect on Wolf Creek

The mine is currently filled with water that must be pumped out. The flow rate of South Fork Wolf Creek will increase by up to 6 cubic feet per second (cfs). After the water level is taken down (8-12 months), 1.1 to 2.7 cfs will be continuously added to the creek due to pumping to keep the mine from refilling.

  • Who owns the water?
  • Will NID own all the water pumped out of the IMM into Wolf Creek? Will NID be responsible for this waters’ quality?
  • Equipment failure or service line breach could cause a polluted water discharge.
  • Who will continuously monitor discharge from the IMM and who will pay for this monitoring? What mechanisms will be in place to automatically and immediately stop pumping when a failure is detected? Will this adequately protect our community?

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