MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A federal judge has ruled that Flambeau Mining Co. violated federal clean water laws at its former copper mine near Ladysmith.
But the judge also concluded Tuesday the amount of pollution was minimal and the company's environmental practices were "exemplary."
Environmentalists had alleged the mine violated the Clean Water Act when copper and zinc from the mine entered a small stream that fed the Flambeau River.
Judge Barbara Crabb says evidence showed the mine was the source of the pollution. But Crabb says the discharges were slight. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the judge ordered the company to pay $275 for the discharges, and denied a request to have Flambeau pay the plaintiffs' legal expenses.
The Flambeau mine operated from 1993 to 1997.