Vegetation, Wetlands, Fish and Wildlife

Vegetation

Vegetative cover in the project area has been affected by past and ongoing TDF operations.

Goal: Minimize project-related impacts to vegetation

Actions:

  • Surface disturbance and vegetation clearing will occur only in those areas necessary for expansion of the TDF and related infrastructure and will be done in a way to minimize and maintain the smallest reasonable footprint.
  • Interim re-vegetation will be employed where practical to stabilize slopes and other embankments (e.g., reclamation-material stockpiles, long-term tailings facility slopes and road cuts and fills), which are expected to remain in place until final reclamation.
  • Upon permanent cessation of project activities, disturbed areas will be stabilized and reclaimed in accordance with the reclamation plans set forth in GPO Appendix 14, Reclamation Plan.

Wetlands & Jurisdictional Waters of the U.S.

The project is located within areas of known wetlands and jurisdictional waters of the U.S.

Goal: Minimize impacts to wetlands and jurisdictional waters of the U.S.

Actions:

  • Hecla Greens Creek will locate the TDF and associated infrastructure to minimize direct disturbance to Waters of the U.S.
  • The company will work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under the Clean Water Act Section 404 permitting process to provide mitigation as required for any dredge or fill impacts of wetlands or jurisdictional waters of the U.S.

Fish and Wildlife

Wildlife habitat in the project area has been impacted by past and ongoing TDF activities.

Goal: Minimize disruption to wildlife species and wildlife habitats during project activities.

Actions:

  • Hunting and fishing by employees are prohibited at the mine site during their work rotations. Employees may access the island by their own means to hunt and fish during their time off.
  • Hecla Greens Creek will inform both contractors and employees about the sensitive nature of the workplace environment, particularly the high density of brown bears on Admiralty Island.
  • The company will minimize disturbance to fish and wildlife habitat by maintaining a small footprint. Vegetation will be cleared only in those areas necessary for the TDF extension and the installation of associated infrastructure.
  • The company will provide safeguards to ensure that the water discharged to Hawk Inlet conforms to APDES standards by continuing to conduct quarterly sampling in Hawk Inlet for sea water quality and collecting and analyzing sediment and bioassay samples annually from various locations in Hawk Inlet for monitoring purposes under the APDES permit.
  • Refuse will be carefully managed and hauled to the marine-terminal facility for site removal. Special care is taken with used oils, grease, antifreeze, solvents and other chemicals; these items are handled separately from normal trash and garbage, and they are taken off-island for disposal or re-use.
  • Specified speed limits for trucks and other vehicles operating on roads will be followed. This measure will reduce the potential for vehicle/wildlife collisions.