The Anaconda Copper Mine is an abandoned open pit copper mine in Lyon County, Nevada. Photo: Kelapstick
Environment | Law

Yerington Paiute Tribe sues owners of abandoned mine for millions of dollars





The Yerington Paiute Tribe is trying to hold the prior owners of an abandoned copper mine in Nevada accountable for polluting the environment.

The tribe is seeking tens of millions of dollars from Atlantic Richfield Corp. (ARCO) and BP America Inc., The Associated Press reported. The lawsuit says the companies covered up the extent of contamination at the Anaconda Copper Mine Site, where uranium, arsenic and other dangerous toxins have contaminated the soil and groundwater.

ARCO and BP settled a similar lawsuit in 2013 for $19.5 million, The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported at the time. The tribe was not a part of the case, which was filed by neighbors of the mine complex.

The tribes lawsuit was filed in its own court system in August, the AP said. Generally, non-Indian entities are not subject to tribal jurisdiction except in certain situations, including ones in which their activities threaten the "health or welfare" of the tribal community.

The Anaconda mine is about 9 miles south of the Yerington Paiute Reservation. It's already on a Superfund site and the tribe last year welcomed a proposal to place it on the Superfund National Priorities List. The state of Nevada, however, wants the Environmental Protection Agency to defer action on the site pending talks with ARCO, The Elko Daily Free Press reported.

Read More on the Story:
Nevada wants out of Superfund listing at mine (The Associated Press September 7, 2017)
State requests deferral of listing Anaconda on Superfund priority list (The Elko Daily Free Press August 11, 2017)

Related Stories:
Nevada tribes welcome Superfund priority for abandoned mine (March 30, 2016)