Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

Superfund Site:

EAGLE MINE
MINTURN, CO

Redevelopment

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About the Superfund Redevelopment Initiative

This nationally coordinated effort provides EPA and its partners with a process to return Superfund sites to productive use. Learn more at Superfund Redevelopment Initiative.

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Redevelopment at the Site

In 2004, a developer called Ginn Battle North purchased approximately 750 acres of land that included the northern portion of the Eagle Mine Superfund site. The development company planned a private, residential ski and golf community for the site. Since initial cleanup efforts remediated the site for recreational and trespasser use, additional cleanup of the site was necessary for residential use. As a result, EPA created a new operable unit 3 (OU3) to mirror the boundaries of the areas of the site that the developer intended to develop for residential use. EPA and CDPHE began working with Ginn Battle North to ensure all necessary investigation and cleanup steps occurred, per the Superfund process, to prepare the property for residential redevelopment.

In September 2006, EPA and CDPHE accepted Ginn Battle North’s Remedial Investigation Report. The report documented the conditions of OU3 and assessed the potential nature and extent of the impacts to human health and the environment from remaining mine-related waste.

In 2007, EPA and CDPHE accepted Ginn Battle North’s Human Health Risk Assessment. The risk assessment described the potential for site-related risks to human health caused by remaining mine-related waste.

In 2009, Battle North, LLC took over the proposed redevelopment plans from Ginn Battle North and continued working with EPA and CDPHE on Superfund environmental investigation and cleanup steps necessary to allow for future residential use of the property. However, Battle North, LLC proposed a scaled-down plan aimed at preparing the property for residential use in the future and abandoned the golf course community plans.

In 2015, EPA and CDPHE accepted Battle North, LLC’s Feasibility Study Report. The report developed and evaluated possible remedial actions and technologies and combined them into cleanup alternatives. Battle North LLC’s feasibility study does not include specific development plans, which is a key difference from a previous feasibility study prepared by Ginn Battle North. Therefore, the Battle North LLC’s Feasibility Study Report does not rely on any specific development features to serve as remedial measures.

EPA and CDPHE issued a proposed cleanup plan (proposed plan) in June 2017 that identified the Agencies’ preferred cleanup alternative for OU3. The Agencies took public comment on the proposed plan for 45 days and extended the public comment period by another 30 days upon request. In September 2017, EPA issued a Record of Decision for OU3. The Record of Decision details the alternatives that will be implemented. The Record of Decision for OU3 focuses on soil remediation necessary to protect human health if residential use occurs. The selected remedy includes a combination of the following elements for areas in OU3 proposed for development: excavation and containment/disposal of impacted soil, tailings, and boulders; installation of a soil exposure barrier; grading to manage water drainage; demolition of the former tailings slurry pipeline; implementing institutional controls; and conducting monitoring/long-term management.

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Economic Activity at the Site

As of December 2017, EPA did not have economic data related to on-site businesses, or economic data were not applicable due to site use. View information about redevelopment economics at Superfund sites.

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Activity and Use Limitations

At this site, activity and use limitations that EPA calls institutional controls are in place. Institutional controls play an important role in site remedies because they reduce exposure to contamination by limiting land or resource use. They also guide human behavior. For instance, zoning restrictions prevent land uses – such as residential uses – that are not consistent with the level of cleanup. For more background, see Institutional Controls.

Land use controls are the most common type of institutional control (IC). ICs are administrative or legal controls that help reduce the likelihood for human exposure to contamination. ICs can also help protect the integrity of the remedy. Examples of ICs are:

  • Zoning ordinances
  • Environmental covenants
  • Deed notices
  • Well-drilling restrictions
  • Building permits
  • Informational advisories

ICs are an aspect of the Eagle Mine Superfund site remedy. For instance, groundwater is restricted from being used at many areas of the site due to remaining heavy metal contamination, including Rex Flats, the Old Tailings Pile and the Maloit Park areas. The remedy for OU2, which includes the abandoned company town of Gilman and surrounding areas, consists entirely of ICs that limit site access. In addition, ICs dictate that EPA and CDPHE be informed of any proposed change in land use at the Eagle Mine Superfund site. If land use changes, the Agencies must determine if additional remediation would be required. EPA and CDPHE must review any land use change plans to assure they are protective of human health and the environment. New ICs described in the 2017 OU1 Record of Decision Amendment are intended to protect engineered remedial features at the site such as the water treatment plant and waste pile caps. New ICs described in the 2017 Record of Decision for OU3 are intended to restrict access and eliminate potential exposure to contaminants on site.

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