State v. Bagdad Hillside LLC (DMC No. 15240) – (3 Counts) Felony Discharge Elimination System Violation ($950,000 Violation) – Not Charged As To Our Client Mr. G /Former Owner of Bagdad Hillside – Maricopa County Superior Court (Case No. CR2017-002439).
Mr. G was a former owner of the Bagdad Hillside Mine. He had sold all ownership interest when a Complaint was brought forward by the Arizona Attorney General for Discharge Elimination System Violations. The Bagdad Hillside Mine was located adjacent to Boulder Creek. This part is of the Bill Williams River watershed and a tributary to Alamo Lake. It has been stipulated that the water is to be protected for human and animal use, including full body contact. The Hillside Mine which was adjacent to Boulder Creek had a large amount of mining tailings (which are the remains from digging out a mine). At some point in the past, the miners hit ground water and the mine started to fill up. The lowest level of the shaft was 900 ft. below and the miners put in a drainage shaft and called it an ADIT (a horizontal passage leading into a mine for the purposes of access or drainage). The drainage shaft would then continually drain water into Boulder Creek.
The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) continually tested the water over several years and found that the average levels of arsenic were 200 times higher than the allowed levels to be in discharged water. The Enforcement Officer for ADEQ, testified that she had contact with the Bagdad Chief Financial Officer on numerous times and tried to correct the problem with him. She sent Notice of Violations and they worked out a Consent Order. None of these Consent Orders were followed. Ultimately, 3 Counts of Felony Discharge of an Elimination System Violation were filed and a Bench Trial was held against the corporation. Through process of the Trial, both the Chief Financial Officer and Mr. G were mentioned by the ADEQ. Although the Corporation was found guilty and was issued a fine of $950,000, Mr. G was not individually convicted of anything, nor was he responsible to pay any of that fine.