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Eureka Mills Added to Superfund List

Release Date: 9/4/2002
Contact Information:

Release Date: 9/4/2002
Contact Information:
303/312-6025 or 1 (800) 227-8917

      Salt Lake City -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today added the Eureka Mills site located in Eureka,Utah to EPA's National Priorities List (NPL) of Superfund sites.

      Designating the site as a national priority makes it eligible for federal funding of the cleanup of lead and arsenic contamination in the town. The mining companies responsible for producing the mine waste are likely financially unable to pay for the entire cleanup.

      EPA moved quickly in responding to the human health risks at this site. EPA began emergency cleanup of lead in residential yards in July 2001, one month after proposing the site for the NPL. As of this last August, 69 yards have been cleaned up. This month EPA will decide on the final cleanup plan for the remaining yards and several mine waste piles in the town. With federal funding, the cleanup can begin next summer.

      Metals are present in mine waste piles, residential areas and open space. Lead is the primary contaminant of concern for soils; however, other metals, including arsenic, are also present. Over 4,000 soil samples were collected from 505 residential and commercial properties. Most of these properties have soil with lead levels over 500 parts per million (ppm). Concentrations of lead in the mine dumps and adjacent areas range from 1000 ppm to 47,806 ppm.

      Eureka was founded in 1870 when a high-grade mineralized outcrop containing silver and lead was discovered. Active mining continued until the silver bust in the late 1800's and early 1900's. From that time until 1965, only limited mining activities took place. Today there are no active mines in Eureka.

      Hazardous waste sites included on the NPL are 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. EPA may also use Superfund money to cleanup NPL sites when there are no responsible parties.

      Listing on the NPL gives the public an opportunity to participate in cleanup decisions. Information used to document the listing of the site is available at the following locations:

      Eureka City Hall
      15 N Church St.
      Eureka, Utah 84628
      U.S. EPA Records Center
      999 18th St. Suite 300
      Denver, Colorado 80202
      168 North 1950 West
      Salt Lake City, Utah 84116