The EPA is concerned that a dam Monsanto erected to control pollution discharge from their Idaho phosphate mine is drying up Blackfoot River. The EPA now wants the maker of Roundup herbicide to remove selenium and heavy metals from water trapped by the dam and then to discharge clean water downstream.
Before the dam was built, Monsanto and other phosphate mining operations received public attention in the 1990s when selenium runoff began killing hundreds of livestock. In 2007, EPA warned Monsanto that its discharge of excessive amounts of selenium and heavy metals from its South Rasmussen Ridge Mine was violating the Clean Water Act.
The pollution control dam was Monsanto’s effort to reduce selenium discharge.
“We support efforts to reduce selenium discharges to the creek, but we have serious concerns about the methods Monsanto is using, which is drying up the creek,” said Mark Ryan, a federal Clean Water Act attorney for the EPA in Boise, on Wednesday. “We want to see it (the water) treated and put back into the creek where it belongs.”