What does baseline restoration mean?

Once mining operations have concluded, Strata will be required by license to restore the water quality in the mined aquifer to pre-operational water quality.

Taken literally, restoring to “baseline” means that each parameter measured must be restored at or below  its respective baseline measurement. Therefore, if a single substance was measured at a baseline level of X ppm and is measured at X+1 ppm (or even X+0.0001 ppm) after restoration, the water is not considered restored to baseline even if all other parameters are at or below baseline. Given this definition, ISR operations have a record of restoring the majority of parameters (particularly the more concerning ones like arsenic, radium, cadmium and others) to or below baseline standards. In some cases, operations restored a number of parameters that had previously exceeded EPA standards to not only below baseline, but below the EPA standards; however, because some parameters remained above their baseline levels, these operations are not considered to have restored baseline levels.