JACKPILE-PAGUATE URANIUM MINE
LAGUNA PUEBLO, NM
On this page:
- What Is Being Done to Clean Up the Site?
- What Is the Current Site Status?
- EPA’s Involvement at the Site
- Sampling and Monitoring
- Operable Units (opens new page)
- Cleanup Progress (opens new page)
The Jackpile-Paguate Uranium Mine site ("the Site") is located at the Laguna Pueblo, about 40 miles west of Albuquerque in Paguate, Cibola County, New Mexico. The Site consists of three former tribal leases within the Laguna Pueblo. The former leaseholder, Anaconda Minerals Company, a division of Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO), mined and operated a uranium mine at the Site from 1953 through March 1982. Out of a total of 7,868 leased acres, 2,656 acres were disturbed by mining. This disturbance originally included three open pits, 32 waste dumps and 23 protore (sub-grade ore) stockpiles, four topsoil stockpiles and 66 acres of buildings and roads. During the 29 years of mining, about 400 million tons of rocks were moved within the mine area and about 25 million tons of uranium ore were transported via the Santa Fe Railroad from the mine to Anaconda's Bluewater Mill. The Mill was located 40 miles west of the Site. Mining operations detrimentally affected surface water with hazardous chemicals in quantities sufficient to support listing onto the EPA National Priorities List (NPL) for CERCLA cleanup.
Additional background information can be obtained by accessing the 1986 Environmental Impact Statement, developed by the Department of Interior.
What Is Being Done to Clean Up the Site?
The Pueblo's environmental program works with various Federal agencies and private sector consultants on Site issues and concerns.
What Is the Current Site Status?
EPA proposed the site for listing on the NPL in March 2012. The Site was lsited December 12, 2013.
EPA’s Involvement at the Site
Anaconda Minerals Company, a division of Atlantic Richfield Company, operated the mine under lease agreement through the Department of Interior (DOI). The lease terms and Federal regualtions gave the DOI authority to require reclamation of the minesite.
Mining operations took place from 1953 through March 1982. During the 29 years of mining, about 400 million tons of rocks were moved within the mine area and about 25 million tons of uranium ore were transported via the Santa Fe Railroad from the mine to Anaconda's Bluewater Mill, 40 miles west of the site.
EPA was not party to this reclamation work or to activities prior to listing the Site onto the National Priorities List.
Sampling and Monitoring
Limited sampling and analysis was conducted for listing the Site onto the National Priorities. These data call be accessed by revewing the EPA Hazard Ranking System information (HRS package).
During cleanup, a site can be divided into a number of distinct areas depending on its complexity. These areas, called operable units (OUs), may address geographic areas, specific problems, or areas where a specific action is required. Examples of typical operable units include construction of a groundwater pump and treatment system or construction of a cap over a landfill.