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

New Cleanup Effort for Operable Unit 3 – The North Property: In 2004, Ginn Battle North purchased approximately 750 acres including the northern portion of the Eagle Mine Superfund site as well as adjacent areas. Ginn Battle North planned a private, residential, ski and golf community for the site. Institutional controls at the site dictate that EPA and CDPHE be informed of any proposed change in land use at the Eagle Mine site. If land use changes, the agencies must determine if additional remediation would be required. EPA and CDPHE must review any developer-generated plans to assure that they are protective of human health and the environment. Since cleanup efforts to date at the Eagle Mine Superfund site were not intended to allow for residential use of the property, more thorough cleanup of the site is necessary. As a result, EPA created a new Operable Unit 3 (OU3) to mirror the boundaries of the private residential development proposed for the property. OU3 includes the Old Tailings Pile, Rex Flats, Maloit Park, Roaster Pile #5 and the Consolidated Tailings Pile (all of which are also part of the Eagle Mine Superfund site OU1). EPA and the state began working with the Ginn Battle North to ensure all necessary investigation and cleanup steps occur, per the Superfund process, to prepare the property for residential redevelopment.

In September 2006, the agencies accepted Ginn Battle North’s Remedial Investigation Report (RI). The RI documents the current conditions of the Eagle Mine Superfund site and assesses the potential nature and extent of the potential impacts to human health and the environment from remaining mine-related waste.

In February 2007, the agencies accepted Ginn Battle North’s Human Health Risk Assessment (RA). The RA describes the potential for site-related risks to human health caused by remaining mine-related waste. CBS, the responsible party for the Eagle Mine Superfund site, did not analyze these risks when implementing the existing remedy because no residential use was considered.

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 a 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, while withdrawing the specific development plans proposed earlier by Ginn.

In December 2015, the agencies accepted Battle North LLC’s Feasibility Study (FS). The FS develops and evaluates possible remedial actions and technologies and combines them into cleanup alternatives. Battle North LLC’s FS does not include specific development plans, which is a key difference from a previous FS prepared by Ginn Battle North. Therefore, the FS does not rely on any specific development features to serve as remedial measures.

EPA and CDPHE issued a proposed plan in June 2017 that identifies the agencies’ preferred cleanup alternative from those described in the feasibility study. The public is invited to comment on the proposed plan before a final decision is made.

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Economic Activity at the Site

As of December 2016, EPA did not have economic data related to on-site businesses, or economic data were not applicable due to site use. For additional information click here.

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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

Institutional controls are an important aspect of the Eagle Mine Superfund site remedy. At OU1, which encompasses sitewide contamination, 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 institutional controls that limit site access. In addition, ICs dictate that EPA and the state of Colorado 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 the state of Colorado must review any developer-generated plans to assure they are protective of human health and the environment.

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