Heavy Runoff Overwhelms WHARF Pollution Control

May 21, 2014

High runoff in the Northern Black Hills is causing difficulty for mitigating potential pollution that can come from strip mine drainage.
Credit Amy Varland

WHARF Resources is making an emergency discharge of water out of a containment pond at its surface gold mine in the Northern Black Hills this week.  The lined holding pond catches potentially polluted water that is normally treated before release into the Spearfish Creek watershed.   The extra heavy snow pack this year means high levels of runoff are overwhelming the mine’s containment system.   

While mine officials stress no detectable levels of pollution are being released at this time, local environmental groups are not convinced enough is being done to protect the pristine Spearfish Creek watershed.