The owners of the Saltair Resort on the shores of the Great Salt Lake have sued Kennecott Corp., accusing it of fouling resort beaches with mine waste.
The ill-fated resort, which has been repeatedly flooded and storm-damaged over the years, is now beset by waste water pouring off of Kennecott's tailings pile and retention ponds, the lawsuit says."The increased flow of water onto the properties and concessions of Plaintiffs has created a muddy, malodorous quagmire, where once were sandy beaches," the suit says.
The water and "other materials" from the tailings pile also pose a public-health hazard, it says.
The plaintiffs include attorney Walter Plumb, Great Salt Land Corp. and Great Salt Lake Beaches. The lawsuit seeks a court order enjoining Kennecott from releasing any more water onto the property, along with unspecified punitive damages.
The plaintiffs say the sludge has driven visitors away from the resort and lowered property values. While the state owns the land at Saltair and grants concession rights to its owners, plaintiff Great Salt Lake Beaches owns 150 acres nearby.
Kennecott spokeswoman Alexis Fernandez said the allegations come as a surprise. "We do our best to be good neighbors."