Judge approves deal with Hecla

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COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho (AP) -- A federal judge in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho,has approved a $263.4 million settlement with Hecla Mining Co. that resolves one of the nation's largest Superfund lawsuits.

The money from Hecla will be used to clean up historic pollution in the Coeur d'Alene River Basin, including toxic levels of lead and other heavy metals.

U.S. District Court Judge Edward J. Lodge on Thursday said the negotiated settlement will avoid decades of additional litigation in the 20-year lawsuit. Terms of the proposed settlement were announced in June.

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Information from: The Spokesman-Review, http://www.spokesman.com