Environmental Protection

Blue Tee Corp. Provides Nearly $1.4 M for Superfund Cleanup

A former lead and zinc mine and mill located near Leadpoint, Wash., will soon be cleaned up, following a $1.36 million settlement agreement between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Blue Tee Corp., the former operator of the site. These funds will allow EPA to complete remaining cleanup work at this Superfund site.

"EPA and Blue Tee have agreed on a way to move forward with this cleanup,” said Chris Field, EPA’s site cleanup manager. “This hazardous waste site is finally going to be cleaned up for the safety of the residents and the environment.”

EPA will excavate tailings and contaminated soil from around the mill buildings and will consolidate these materials beneath a protective barrier in the nearby tailings impoundment. The barrier will be graded for erosion control and revegetated. The cleanup also involves placing a protective barrier over contaminated sediments in the tailings impoundment pond and in other nearby wetlands.

The proposed settlement requires Blue Tee to conduct future long-term monitoring and maintenance and repair. The Washington state Department of Ecology will oversee these activities.

The mine and mill operated intermittently between 1910 and the 1980s, producing nearly 1 million tons of lead, zinc, and barium tailings. In 2003, EPA incurred costs of more $200,000 while conducting an emergency cleanup to address remnants of leftover chemicals, 55 gallon drums of hazardous and non-hazardous substances, and polychlorinated biphenyl-containing electrical equipment.

The 30-day public comment period on the proposed settlement ends March 26, 2010. To read the proposed settlement, visit the Federal Register Web site.

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