Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

Superfund Site:

ORE KNOB MINE
ASHE COUNTY, NC

Health & Environment

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What Are the Risks at the Site?

Site investigations have identified contamination in surface water, groundwater, sediment and soil that could potentially harm people in the area. Contamination resulted from historic mining practices. Impacted streams and rivers include a 1.5-mile length of Ore Knob Branch; a 2.25-mile length of Little Peak Creek; about 2.9 miles of Peak Creek, from its merging point with Ore Knob Branch to its merging point with South Fork New River; and South Fork New River for some unknown distance downstream of Peak Creek.

Contaminated groundwater is the primary threat to public health. Other site contamination primarily poses a threat to the environment. EPA started an emergency response action in April 2010 to provide bottled drinking water to households with contaminated or potentially contaminated private drinking water wells. EPA later provided some households with whole-house well treatment systems. EPA collected private drinking water well samples six times in 2010 and 2011. EPA will continue collecting samples from private drinking water wells as necessary to assess whether site contamination might be affecting additional wells. EPA also samples whole-house well treatment systems annually to make sure the treatment systems are working properly.

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Contaminant Information

View a full list of contaminants of concern for this site.

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Performance Measures

EPA uses performance measures to track environmental results at Superfund sites. If you have any questions or concerns about the measures at this site, please contact the site team members listed under Site Contacts.

Read more about Superfund Remedial Performance Measures.

Performance
Measure
Status at this
Superfund Site
What does this mean?
Human Exposure Under Control Insufficient Data Yes means assessments indicate that across the entire site:
  1. There are currently no unacceptable human exposure pathways; and
  2. EPA has determined the site is under control for human exposure.

No means an unsafe level of contamination has been detected at the site and a reasonable expectation exists that people could be exposed.

Insufficient data means that, due to uncertainty regarding exposures, one cannot draw conclusions as to whether human exposures are controlled, typically because:
  1. Response to the contamination has not begun; or
  2. The response has begun, but it has not yet generated information sufficiently reliable to evaluate whether there are currently any unacceptable human exposure pathways at the site.
Groundwater Migration Under Control Insufficient Data

Yes means EPA reviewed all information on known and reasonably expected groundwater contamination. EPA concluded the migration of contaminated groundwater is stabilized and there is no unacceptable discharge to surface water. EPA will conduct monitoring to confirm that affected groundwater remains in the original area of contamination.

No means EPA has reviewed all information on known and reasonably expected groundwater contamination, and the migration of contaminated groundwater is not stabilized.

Insufficient data means that due to uncertainty regarding contaminated groundwater migration, EPA cannot draw conclusions as to whether the migration of contaminated groundwater is stabilized.

Construction Complete No

Yes means the physical construction of the cleanup is complete for the entire site.

No means either physical construction is not complete or actions are still needed to address contamination.

Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use No Yes means:
  1. All cleanup goals affecting current and reasonably anticipated future land uses of the entire site have been achieved, so there are no unacceptable risks;
  2. All required land-use restrictions or other controls have been put in place; and
  3. The site has achieved Construction Complete status.

No means that one or more of these three criteria have not been met. However, a site listed as no may still have redevelopment occurring on portions of the site and may be eligible for additional redevelopment.

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