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EPA Proposes Adding Former SD Mine To NPL

Release Date: 5/11/2000
Contact Information:
EPA 303/312-6757,

Release Date: 5/11/2000
Contact Information:
EPA 303/312-6703,

Release Date: 5/11/2000
Contact Information:
EPA 303/312-6813

      Denver -- Today the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will propose adding the former Gilt Edge Mine located near Deadwood, South Dakota to EPA’s National Priorities List (NPL) of Superfund sites. This announcement begins a sixty-day period in which citizens may send EPA their comments on the proposed listing.
The National Priorities List is a published list of U.S. hazardous waste sites eligible for extensive, long-term cleanup under the Superfund program. Listing on the NPL makes the site eligible to receive federal funds for cleanup while EPA seeks to recover costs from the responsible parties that can be identified. Placing the site on the NPL also allows EPA to use Superfund money for cleanup when there are no responsible parties who can pay for the work.

The Gilt Edge Mine is a 270-acre open-pit cyanide heap-leach gold mine, developed in highly sulfidic ore bodies. The operator, Brohm Mining Company, became insolvent, leaving 150 million gallons of acidic, heavy-metal-laden water in three open pits. Among the wastes are millions of cubic yards of acid-generating waste rock that need remediation and possible long-term water treatment.

Mining operations for gold, copper and tungsten began in 1876 and continued until the 1930's. The Gilt Edge Mine reopened in mid 1930 and operated until 1941. During this time tailings were discharged into Bear Butte Creek and Strawberry Creek. Over time, acid mine drainage damaged the aquatic habitat of Bear Butte Creek and Strawberry Creek.

Under a State mining permit, in 1987 the Brohm Mining Company developed mining operations on the site including a large cyanide heap-leach pad, and a 12-million-cubic-yard valley-fill waste-rock dump, process plants and ponds and large open pits.

South Dakota’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources has been maintaining a water-treatment plant to remove metals from the water at the mine since it closed. In February 2000, Governor Janklow asked EPA to propose the site for the NPL and provide immediate emergency response and long-term cleanup.
Listing of a site on the NPL guarantees the public an opportunity to participate in cleanup decisions. Information that EPA used to document the proposed listing of the site is available at either of the following locations:

U. S. EPA Records Center
999 18th Street, Ste.303
Denver, Co 80202

Lawrence County Planning & Zoning Office
90 Sherman Street
Deadwood, South Dakota 57732

People interested in commenting on the proposed NPL listing should send the original comments and three copies (on or before July 10, 2000) to:

Docket Coordinator,
Headquarters U.S. EPA; CERCLA Docket Office (5201G)
401 M Street SW
Washington, DC 20460
Phone: 703/603-9232