Agency Lays Out Gilt Edge Mine Cleanup Plan

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 8, has proposed a plan to clean up environmental contamination at the Gilt Edge Mine Superfund Site, Operable Unit 1. The plan lays out a long-term cleanup strategy that addresses overall contamination at the site.

Gilt Edge Mine is in the northern Black Hills, near the towns of Lead and Deadwood, S.D.

Environmental problems at the Gilt Edge Mine stem from more than a decade of large-scale, open-pit gold mining by Brohm Mining Company. In 1999, Brohm declared bankruptcy, leaving 150 million gallons of acidic, heavy-metal-laden water in three open pits and millions of cubic yards of acid-generating waste rock requiring cleanup and long-term treatment. Since that time, EPA, in consultation with the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources, has enacted a number of short-term and emergency response actions at the site.

The proposal provides an opportunity for the public to comment on the cleanup before EPA makes a final cleanup decision. The plan reviews the history of the site and describes the environmental problems and risks and summarizes the four alternatives being considered to remediate the site, including EPA's preferred alternative. The agency will accept public comment through June 23.

A copy of the proposed plan can be viewed at http://www.epa.gov/region8/superfund/sd/giltedge.

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