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Montana drops ‘bad actor’ claim against Hecla mine executive


HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Environmental regulators are dropping an effort to prevent an Idaho-based company and its president from obtaining mining permits in Montana.

The state Department of Environmental Quality filed a case in 2018 seeking to block Hecla Mining Co. President Phillips Baker Jr., from involvement in two proposed silver and copper mines.

Baker was an executive with Pegasus Gold, which went bankrupt in 1998, leaving state and federal agencies with more than $50 million in cleanup costs.

Environmental groups criticized the dismissal, saying the “bad actor” law was passed after Pegasus’ bankruptcy.

Gov. Greg Gianforte's new director of the DEQ said the agency doesn't believe it will lead to reimbursement for the cleanup costs.

Article Topic Follows: Regional News

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