Phoenix-based mining firm to pay $6.8M for damages
Web Producer: Alexandra Sutter
PHOENIX (AP) - Phoenix-based mining firm Freeport-McMoRan has agreed to pay nearly $7 million to settle federal and state natural resource damages claims involving the Morenci copper mine in southeastern Arizona.
State authorities and federal prosecutors filed a complaint on April 24 that Freeport-McMoRan was civilly liable for injuries to natural resources that resulted from hazardous substance releases at and from the mine site.
The complaint alleged that surface waters, terrestrial habitat and wildlife, and migratory birds have been injured, destroyed or lost as a result of releases of hazardous substances including sulfuric acid and metals.
Under the consent decree lodged Tuesday, Freeport-McMoRan will pay $6.8 million to the Interior Department's Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration Fund. The decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period and court review and approval.
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