June Mine Restoration Notes

Elizabeth RussellColorado Mine Restoration Coordinator

Snake River/Penn Mine:  Things finally seem to be moving along.  The EPA and State (CDPHE) are spending $250K on site treatment design and more characterization this summer.  Now that the model AOC has been released by the EPA, we can move forward on a draft of that document for the Penn Mine.  We are helping to form a foundation that will be responsible for the long term O & M at the site so that TU can get a notice of completion once the treatment system is constructed.  I’ll spend a bunch of time this summer helping with recon and sampling.

Colorado Gulch, Leadville:  Good news here!  The BLM gave us $25,000  for our bioreactor and we also received an EPA grant of $57,000 (Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response Innovative Technologies grant).  So far we have raised $115,000 cash and spent $13,000 so far on the bench scale test.  With the EPA’s AOC released, I will be helping Colorado Mountain College and the EPA come to an agreement at the site (the college will do the long-term O & M and be responsible for construction – we are just raising the money).  It looks like we can begin next spring if the legal work is done.  I’m still waiting to here on another $30,000 in grants.  We will likely have to raise some more money, but we don’t know yet because the design work isn’t done.  This will be the West’s first Good Sam mine cleanup project that treats water so it’s really exciting and important.

Millsap Tailings:  TU is just a VERY small part of this project.  We contributed $2500 of the $650,000.  The reclamation began last week and is expected to last 1-2 months.  I’m helping the local TU chapter on getting some good press.

Red River Mines, New Mexico:  It looks like TU will help with the clean up of 1-5 small mine sites on private land in the Red River watershed.  This is great news for TU’s mining work since we will be entering into a new state.  Also, we will partner with Amigos Bravos and the Santa Fe TU chapter.  I’m currently waiting for the final engineering designs and cost estimates from the Forest Service.  I just have to figure out how to raise the money we’ll need.  I’ve already talked with an attorney at EPA Region 6 and they are excited to have a Good Sam cleanup in that region.