YAKIMA, Wash. -

A new permit issued to the Buckhorn Mine in Okanogan County will better protect water quality. It should also help correct environmental problems that have challenged the mine since it opened in 2007.

The state Department of Ecology issued the updated water quality permit to Crown Resources, which operates the gold mine near Chesaw. That followed negotiations with the company and environmental groups.

The permit takes effect March 1.

Under the new permit, the mining company has until the end of this year to comply with more protective standards. The updated permit allows the mine to discharge treated water from its wastewater treatment plant back to the environment.