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BOISE -- Monsanto Co. mining officials are investigating the engineering and safety of the water treatment system at its new phosphate mine after a holding pond sprung a leak and dumped water and sediment into a nearby wetland.

Monsanto reported the March 29 failure to government officials, triggering a review of the water management system at the Blackfoot Bridge Mine near Soda Springs.

The breach occurred at a pond built to hold storm water and snow melt that collects at the site. The failure allowed an estimated 3 million gallons of water to leak from the pond.

The project was permitted in 2011. Monsanto has touted its mining plan for incorporating state-of-the-art engineering.

Environmentalists oppose activity in southeast Idaho's phosphate patch due to concerns about selenium -- a toxic mining byproduct.

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