September 1, 2020

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Mining Groundwater Discharge Solutions Following the U.S. Supreme Court Ruling: Geosyntec Webinar

Geosyntec hosted a free webinar entitled "Groundwater/Surface Water Interface – Emerging Regulatory Challenges and New Solutions for the Mining Industry." It is now available as an on-demand webinar

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The recent U.S. Supreme Court judgement in County of Maui, Hawaii vs. Hawaii Wildlife Fund, has opened the door for new groundwater quality compliance requirements for facilities where there is a functional equivalent of a direct discharge. While this issue is still in its early stages of development, it has the potential to impact operations where groundwater quality is influenced by industrial activities, such as pits excavated below the water table or surface impoundments. This presentation will describe the possible impacts on regulatory requirements as the case law is implemented by states and will present methods and technologies to characterize and mitigate compliance risks associated with the groundwater/surface water interface.

Participants will receive one professional development hour (PDH) with certificate of attendance upon confirming their interest, participants will be sent a link to the webinar hosting site.


Todd DeJournett, Ph.D., P.E., Geosyntec
Todd DeJournett is a senior engineer in Geosyntec's Minneapolis, Minnesota office. Todd has worked in the mining, power, manufacturing, and refining industries for 17 years helping facilities navigate the changing landscape of water in industry. Todd has expertise in water and wastewater treatment process design, particularly with respect to water management and treatment strategies to comply with requirements for metals, sulfate, dissolved solids, and effluent toxicity.

Karen Olson, Spencer Fane
Karen Olson is Of Counsel in Spencer Fane's Minneapolis Office. Prior to returning to private practice, Karen served as Deputy Attorney for the State of Minnesota for more than a decade. As Deputy Attorney General, Karen was responsible for the Office's environmental, natural resources and agriculture work and led the teams of attorneys representing various state agencies, including the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Minnesota Environmental Quality Board and Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources.

Neven Kresic, Ph.D., P.G., Geosyntec
Neven Kresic is a senior consultant in Geosyntec's Washington, D.C. office with more than 30 years of groundwater- and surface water-related consulting, research, and teaching experience, including major projects in the United States and worldwide. He has been involved in groundwater characterization and modeling at mining sites including in complex hydrogeologic environments and with varying impacts of constituents of concern. Neven has authored numerous papers and a number of textbooks including Hydrogeology and Groundwater Modeling, Second Edition, and Hydrogeological Conceptual Site Models; Data Analysis and Visualization by CRC/Taylor & Francis.

Mike Hayes, P.E., Geosyntec
Mike Hayes is a Principal in Geosyntec's Pittsburgh, Pennslyvania office with more than 25 years of experience in civil and environmental engineering. Mike specializes in industrial water and wastewater treatment, collection, and distribution systems. His work includes project management and engineering design for projects including water and wastewater treatment, collection and distribution; pumping systems and pump stations; landfill capping and closure; petroleum distribution; storage tank design and containment; site investigations; remediation of hazardous waste sites; Brownfield redevelopment; and wetlands mitigation. His clients include PRP groups, mining companies, landfill companies, transportation companies, oil and gas companies, steam electric generating utilities, municipal utilities, and public agencies.

Webinar Description

The presentation is divided into three sections: 1) Summary of the Supreme Court decision and its possible regulatory impact; 2) Description of modeling tools and methods to characterize compliance risks and evaluate monitored natural attenuation alternatives for compliance; and 3) Discussion of semi-passive treatment technologies for mitigating compliance risks at the groundwater/surface water interface. Each section will last 15 to 20 minutes, followed by Q&A at the end.

The webinar will address such questions as:

  • What is a functional equivalent of a direct discharge, and what conditions might lead to this equivalency?
  • What tools can be used to evaluate functional equivalency and the effect of natural processes on compliance risks?
  • How can semi-passive treatment technologies help reduce and manage compliance risks?
  • What strategies can be used to improve reliability and control of passive treatment technologies in cold climates?

More Information

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About Geosyntec's Mining Services:
For consultation regarding mining regulations, contact Todd DeJournett at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..