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U.S. EPA selects former Nye County gold mine for national Brownfields pilot

Release Date: 5/18/2004
Contact Information: Laura Gentile, 415-947-4227

RENO, Nev. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that it has selected the closed Bullfrog gold mine in Beatty, Nevada, as one of six pilot projects nationally for the agency's Brownfields Mine-Scarred Land Initiative.

This announcement was made today at the 2004 Nevada Brownfields Conference held in Reno, Nev. Keith Takata, director of the U.S. EPA's Superfund Division for the Pacific Southwest stated: "This is the perfect example of a partnership federal, state, local, public and private where resources can converge on one place, where environmental issues can be addressed, reuse strategies identified and Nevada communities can benefit."

The U.S. EPA and other federal agencies will provide Nye County with technical assistance and other resources needed to reuse the 1,700 acre Beatty Bullfrog Mine. Approximately 15 acres of private land is slated for relocation of the National Park Service's offices from Death Valley. Another 67 acres is slated for transfer to the town of Beatty for new development.

The EPA's effort will build upon these existing plans, and explore various uses elsewhere on the property, which is mostly federally owned land managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The property is currently controlled by Barrick Bullfrog Inc. The company has received recognition for excellence in mine reclamation, innovation, and land use. The BLM has previously recognized the company for its sustainable development at this facility.

Possible future uses of the property identified by the Beatty Economic Development Corporation include a solar power generation plant. Another proposal being considered by BEDC is to develop magnetic levitation power technology, which is similiar to pump-storage hydroelectric, except that it uses solid mass rather than water.

The state of Nevada will require a mix of alternative energy sources in the future, and Nye County hopes to become a major producer of green power. The hope is that light industry will move to the county because of the availability of low-cost and environmentally friendly energy sources. These new companies will help support the economy of the county, which has suffered from the boom-bust effects of mineral mining and defense activities over the years.

Dr. James Marble, director of the county's Natural Resources Office stated: "Nye County is trying to stimulate a pattern of diverse, stable economic growth on a limited amount of available land. This Mine Scarred Land Initiative will build upon our successful Brownfields partnership with the U.S. EPA."

In addition to working with Nye County and the town of Beatty on this project, the EPA envisions new partnerships with the Bureau of Land Management, the Department of Energy, the National Park Service and the Army Corps of Engineers, among others to ensure its success. The EPA will initially conduct an assessment with Nye County to determine project needs and the requisite contributions from the other federal partners.

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