Options for Lost Lake cleanup to be discussed | TheUnion.com

Options for Lost Lake cleanup to be discussed

Officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will hold two meetings next week to discuss potential cleanup options for Lost Lake, Nevada County’s only federal “Superfund” site.

Heavy New Years’ rains of 1997 caused an old, log containment dam to fail on Little Clipper Creek, releasing more than 10,000 cubic yards of powdery, mine tailings rich in naturally-occurring arsenic.

Later that year, the EPA spent about $800,000 capping the tailings and doing work to prevent further movement. Then, in 1999, the EPA put the site on its Superfund cleanup list, which pays for environmental cleanups when the responsible party can’t be found.

Since then, the EPA has only done testing and information gathering, including monitoring residents’ wells for arsenic.

But Monday and Tuesday, EPA officials will seek residents’ input on possible cleanup options.

Concepts EPA officials will kick around include channelizing, or putting concrete in the creek bed, hauling away arsenic-laden tailings, or planting ground cover to stabilize tailings.

It will take at least three years before any cleanup work starts at the lake, Hodge said.

Arthur Gould is among the Lost Lake residents who plan to attend the EPA meetings.

“We just have to … see what happens,” Gould said. “We haven’t used the lake in five years. We live right on the lake; we used to use it every day.”


WHAT: Lost Lake cleanup options meeting

WHEN: Monday, 7-9 p.m., and Tuesday, 1:30-4 p.m.

WHERE: Monday: Nevada County Board of Realtors, 336 Crown Point Circle, Grass Valley.

Tuesday: Nevada County Library, 980 Helling Way, Nevada City.

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