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Idaho lawsuit against suction-dredge miner can proceed

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Posted at 10:56 AM, Oct 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-01 12:56:45-04

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A U.S. District Court judge in Idaho has rejected a California man’s request to dismiss an environmental group’s lawsuit against him concerning suction dredging for gold in Idaho rivers without required federal permits.

Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald E. Bush ruled Monday that the Idaho Conservation League has standing to bring the citizen enforcement lawsuit against Shannon Poe of Concord, California.

Bush wrote that Poe in multiple years admitted in online posts to dredging Idaho rivers while recognizing the need to obtain permits and his defiance to do so.

The Idaho Conservation League sued in 2018 contending Poe was violating the federal Clean Water Act by dredging in critical habitat for federally protected steelhead, salmon and bull trout.

The lawsuit asks Bush to impose civil penalties that can surpass $50,000 a day.