Tahoe National Forest announces 30-day public review for mine cleanup site
December 15, 2017
The Tahoe National Forest is requesting public comment on the Engineering Evaluation and Cost Analysis for a non-time-critical removal action at the Empire Mine Site located on the Yuba River Ranger District in Sierra County, according to a release.
This Empire Mine site is of no relation to Grass Valley's Empire Mine State Park.
All public comments are welcome and will be accepted until the close of business January 16. Following this 30-day public comment period, a final decision will be made by the Pacific Southwest Region's Regional Forester and documented in a Removal Action Memorandum identifying the removal action decision.
The purpose is to present a detailed analysis of cleanup/removal action alternatives that can be used for decision-making. The analysis presented in this document includes discussion of site background information, a summary of the site investigation, a preliminary risk screening, applicable or relevant and appropriate requirements, removal action objectives and goals, and the analysis and comparison of removal action alternatives.
The presence of arsenic, cadmium, cobalt, lead, mercury, nickel and silver in waste rock and tailings pose potential risks to wildlife at the Empire Mine. Achieving the preliminary Removal Action Objectives will ensure humans and wildlife are protected from elevated metals concentrations in source materials at the site, according to the release.
Based on available site information and data, three types of general response actions were considered for the Empire Mine:
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n No Action
n Engineering Controls
n Offsite Disposal
The following removal action alternatives were identified for Empire Mine based on the general response actions and screening discussed in the analysis and are listed in order of feasibility:
n Alternative 1: No Action
n Alternative 2: Dispose of tailings and mine waste rock in a lined repository constructed onsite
n Alternative 3: Cover the tailings, reverberatory furnace, and mine waste rock in place
n Alternative 4: Remove tailings and mine waste rock for offsite disposal
The removal action alternative recommended in the analysis for the Empire Mine is Alternative 3. This alternative is considered the most cost effective remedy while meeting requirements. The final remedy will be selected by the Forest Service after the public comment period.
The analysis is available for review online at: http:// bit.ly/2BnMu40. Comments can be sent to: Tahoe National Forest, Attn: Rick Weaver, 631 Coyote St., Nevada City, CA 95959.
Source: Tahoe National Forest