EPA targets superfund Anaconda Mine site as needing immediate attention

anaconda mine.jpg

The Environmental Protection Agency added the Anaconda Mine to a list of Superfund sites that require immediate action on Friday.

The Anaconda Mine site has groundwater contamination, waste rock areas, and contaminated process areas.

"Getting toxic land sites cleaned up and revitalized is of the utmost importance to the communities across the country that are affected by these sites," EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said in a statement.

A task force has been initiated and their goals include:

  • expediting cleanup and remediation
  • reinvigorating cleanup and reuse efforts by potentially responsible parties
  • encouraging private investment to facilitate cleanup and reuse
  • promoting redevelopment and community revitalization
  • engaging with partners and stakeholders

Nevada has applied for a deferment, however. They would like to oversee the cleanup process on their own.

The Atlantic Richfield Company, a former owner of the mine, has stepped forward to provide funding for the cleanup.

Greg Lovato, an administrator with the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, said the clean up will be costly. He estimated $30-40 million for Phase 1, which includes a 250-acre clean-up.

For the entire mine, he anticipates it costing a total of $200 million. He said the state will be responsible for 10 percent of the funding, which is expected to come from settlements and fees the state collects.

He said funding will come from fees and settlements, not from the general fund where taxpayer money is funneled.

Clean-up is expected to begin in 2019.

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