Hazardous waste dump site found at Sixteen-to-One mine in Alleghany | TheUnion.com

Hazardous waste dump site found at Sixteen-to-One mine in Alleghany

Drums were part of the hazardous waste found buried on the Original Sixteen to One Mine site in Alleghany.
Photo courtesy Sierra County Sheriff’s Office

ALLEGHANY — State and county officials last week found hundreds of pounds of solid waste buried on the Original Sixteen-to-One Mine property in Alleghany, according to a press release from Sierra County Sheriff Mike Fisher.

Sheriff’s deputies, along with officials from the state Department of Toxic Substances Control and the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, served a search warrant at the mine on Oct. 8. According to Fisher, the warrant was obtained after law enforcement received a tip that a large amount of hazardous waste and solid waste was buried close to Kanaka Creek.

“Once on site, we were able to locate the suspected dump,” Fisher wrote in the release. “With the use of heavy equipment, we unearthed hundreds of pounds of solid waste (household appliances, garbage and e-waste) and 38 barrels of suspected waste oil.”

Approximately 500 pounds of contaminated soil, 45 gallons of waste oil and 30 cubic yards of oily debris were removed from the site, Fisher said.

“This has been a lengthy investigation, with the major portion ending with the search warrant,” Fisher said Wednesday. “We’re still getting to the bottom of who was involved. We know when.”

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According to Fisher, concerns that the hazardous waste had contaminated the creek proved unfounded. Kanaka Creek is a tributary of the middle fork of the Yuba River, he said, and water from the creek could eventually end up in Bullards Bar and Englebright Lake.

While waste had leached into the soil at the dump site, it was confined to the hole in which it was buried, Fisher said, adding, “We did not find any contamination into the waterway.”

Fisher said Sierra County is working closely with Mike Carr of the California District Attorneys Association, as he specializes in prosecuting hazardous waste dumping cases. When complete, the investigation will be forwarded to the Sierra County District Attorney’s Office for review and felony prosecution of those responsible, the release states.

Alleghany is about 35 miles north of Nevada City.

To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, email lizk@theunion.com or call 530-477-4236.

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