Atlanta Gold

John Robison / Idaho Conservation League

Justin Hayes says he would rather not experience this kind of déjà vu.

“Having a mining company upstream flaunting environmental laws and discharging arsenic into the Boise River is really not acceptable,” says the Idaho Conservation League Program Director.

John Robison / Idaho Conservation League

A gold mine located near the headwaters of the Boise River is again the subject of legal action by environmental groups.

In 2012, the U.S. District Court of Idaho ruled that the Atlanta Gold Corporation violated the Clean Water Act by dumping high levels of arsenic and iron into a creek that feeds the Boise River. The company took over control of the historic mine in the 1990s, and was ordered to pay two million dollars and reduce pollutants.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Off a long dirt road about three-and-a-half hours northeast of Boise, the old mining town of Atlanta, Idaho rests on the edge of the Sawtooth Mountains.

Next week, a group of artists of all skill levels will head to Atlanta to unplug from digital life and get inspired. The Atlanta School is a week-long set of workshops, founded by Boiseans Amy O'Brien and Rachel Reichert.

To O’Brien, the remoteness of it all is what makes The Atlanta School so special.

John Robison / Idaho Conservation League

The accidental release of toxins into the Animas River in Colorado is a reminder of the long-term effects of mining. The decades-old gold mine had been dormant, but the toxins from the operation breached a dam there on the Environmental Protection Agency's watch.

Environmentalists around the West are pointing to the disaster, saying what happened in Colorado could happen in other states — including Idaho.

Atlanta Gold Company Fined By Judge

Jul 20, 2012

A U.S. District Judge handed down a penalty today and issued a warning to a company trying to mine gold in Idaho.

U.S. District Judge Mikell Williams has ordered Atlanta Gold Company to pay $2-million dollars in fines for not following clean water laws. Judge Williams also ordered it to comply with the federal Clean Water Act by the end of October or face even more penalties.