Wednesday, March 3, 2010

EPA lists Southeast mine as Superfund site

Here's a follow-up to a post we had back in September:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10

March 2, 2010

Old Copper and Gold Mine on Prince of Wales Island Added to Federal Cleanup List

SEATTLE — The Salt Chuck Mine site has been added to the Environmental Protection Agency's National Priorities List. Today's listing makes the site eligible to receive federal funds for long-term cleanup while EPA seeks to recover costs from the responsible parties.

"This Superfund listing will provide a healthier future for Kasaan Bay and for Kasaan Tribal members, local residents and everyone who eats salmon and shellfish from the Bay," said Dan Opalski, EPA Region 10 Superfund director. "We look forward to cleaning up the Salt Chuck Mine site in collaboration with the tribe, the U.S. Forest Service, the state of Alaska and affected stakeholders."

The Salt Chuck Mine is located on Prince of Wales Island in the Tongass National Forest. Heavy metals from mine tailings have affected water quality and sediments in Lake Ellen Creek and the northern end of Kasaan Bay. Contamination affects the important commercial and subsistence salmon and shellfish fisheries in the bay.

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