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Salt Chuck Mine on Alaska’s Prince of Wales Island Proposed for Federal Cleanup List

Release Date: 09/23/2009
Contact Information: Ken Marcy, EPA/Seattle (206) 463-1349, Caryn Klaff, EPA/Seattle (206) 553-1275,

(Seattle, WA - September 23, 2009) Today, the Salt Chuck Mine, located on Prince of Wales Island in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, was proposed for addition to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “National Priorities List” of the most contaminated sites in the nation. If listed as proposed, the site will be cleaned up under the Superfund program.

Heavy metals from Salt Chuck Mine tailings are impacting water quality and sediments in Lake Ellen Creek and Kasaan Bay. The contamination affects both salmon and shellfish in areas of Kasaan Bay known as important commercial and subsistence fisheries.

“Salt Chuck Mine is a prime candidate for addition to the National Priorities List," said Dan Opalski, EPA’s acting Deputy Regional Administrator in Seattle. "We believe that protecting both Kasaan tribal community health and the Prince of Wales Island environment will require Superfund's comprehensive cleanup toolbox."

Public comments will be accepted for 60 days. The Federal Register Notice, with instructions on how to comment on the proposed Salt Chuck Mine site, is available at

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For the National EPA Press Release, go to:

For more information on the Salt Chuck Mine site and other EPA documents are available at:

For more information about the National Priorities List and site assessment information, go to: