Judge slaps mining company with $2 million penalty

A federal judge is ordering a Canadian mining company to comply with the nation's clean water laws and pay at least $2 million in penalties for polluting a tributary of the Boise River system.

The order and penalty represent another loss for Atlanta Gold Corp., which is seeking to extract gold from the mountains near the historic mining town of Atlanta, Idaho, northeast of Boise.

Earlier this year, U.S. Magistrate Judge Mikel H. Williams ruled that the company is legally responsible for high levels of arsenic and iron flowing from an abandoned mine shaft.

His order issued Thursday wraps up the penalty phase of the case.

The mining company was sued last year by environmental groups over allegations it was exceeding daily discharge levels for pollutants set in its federal permit.