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Searles Valley Minerals / Searles Lake
- LOCATION: Searles Dry Lake, near Trona, San Bernardino County
- DATE: Chronic and continuing.
- INCIDENT SUMMARY: Hypersaline industrial wastewater is discharged into several large ponds. Migrating birds stopping at the ponds have died from salt toxicosis, salt encrustation, oiling, and possibly other causes.
- RESPONSIBLE PARTY: Searles Valley Minerals (formerly IMC Chemicals)
- NATURAL RESOURCE TRUSTEES: California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, Lahonton Regional Water Quality Control Board.
- RESOURCES IMPACTED: Birds (over 2,000 collected Jan 2000 through July 2005, primarily loons, grebes, and waterfowl).
- SETTLEMENT DETAILS: The trustees settled the case using a mitigation plan approved under DFG Code 3005. The mitigation plan allows for the continuing take of birds (not to exceed an average of 241 birds/year) in exchange for continued bird protection and rescue efforts and a contribution of up to $550,000 (plus $10K/year for maintenance for 40 years) for a 100+ acre wetlands creation project at the south end of Owens Lake.
- STATUS OF RESTORATION: Restoration completed.
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Page Last Updated: July 1, 2010