December 14, 2011--Ophir Millsite owner sued for San Miguel River pollution discharges (Montrose Daily Press)

The Telluride-based Sheep Mountain Alliance filed suit against the electrical utility PacifiCorp on Monday over pollution discharges from a 1950s-era PacifiCorp-owned Silver Bell tailings facility located near Ophir. A number of mines used the Ophir mill that was purchased later by Pacificorp. The company conducted “voluntary” remediation of the site in 1998 in response to proposed state legal action, covering tailings with rocks and soil. More site remediation was implemented in 2007-08 to prevent stormwater from coming into direct contact with tailings. PacifiCorp spokesman David Eskelselsen stated in an email Tuesday that the company “continues to work cooperatively with State and Federal officials on the voluntary cleanup at the Silver Bell tailing site. Because of the lawsuit that has been filed in this matter, we cannot comment further on details of any potential future actions the company may take.”

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