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EPA gives $165,600 grant to Cave Creek for pollution assessment at mine site

Release Date: 10/6/2003
Contact Information: Wendy L. Chavez, (415) 947-4248

SAN FRANCISCO At a ceremony today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency gave the town of Cave Creek, Ariz. a $165,600 grant to pay for pollution assessment activities on mine-scarred land.

The town council of Cave Creek accepted the award from Keith Takata, the EPA's Superfund director for the Pacific Southwest. The grant, part of the agency's Brownfields program aimed at redeveloping abandoned, idle, or underused properties into vital, functioning parts of communities, will be used to investigate environmental conditions at the Phoenix Mine site, a 38-acre gold mine that operated from 1880 to 1985.

Assessment and cleanup of the mine site will preserve undisturbed land and open the way to constructing horseback and mountain bike trials, the Cave Creek museum, offices for county parks and recreation division, and a water storage tank.

"The Brownfields program restores abandoned properties back into productive use, provides local jobs, needed tax revenues and recreational benefits," said Keith Takata. "This grant represents a partnership between the federal government and community interests to work together to make these sites whole again."

The Phoenix Mine site has elevated lead and arsenic levels in soils and there are concerns regarding cyanides used in the former heap leaching process.

In January 2002, the Brownfields Revitalization Act was signed into law, which authorizes up to $250 million in funds annually for Brownfields grants. Under the new law, the EPA may now award grants to address contamination at mine scarred lands. Cave Creek is the only one to date in the Pacific Southwest and one of only three mine-related Brownfields grant awards across the country.

From 1995 to the present, the Pacific Southwest region has awarded 87 Brownfields grants totaling $32.5 million.
For information about the EPA's Brownfields program, visit: