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Judge fines Gold Hill man, orders mine dismantled

By Mark Freeman
Mail Tribune

Donald Bean is banned from operating on Sucker Creek

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A federal judge fined a Gold Hill man Wednesday and ordered him to dismantle his placer mining operation along the banks of an Illinois River tributary that's home to protected salmon, and restore the banks and side channels.

Miner Donald Bean is banned from any work at his Reelfoot operation along the banks of Sucker Creek until he complies with federal Clean Water Act regulations he's accused of breaking regularly during operations dating back to July 2010, according to court records.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Clarke's order requires Bean to remove a berm, dam and two roadways he built on the mining claim and restore the area to its pre-mining condition, according to the order.

Clarke ordered Bean to pay a fine of more than $96,000 and more than $81,000 in fees to attorneys representing Ashland-based Rogue Riverkeeper, whose civil suit led to the judgment.

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