Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

Superfund Site:

SUMMITVILLE MINE
RIO GRANDE COUNTY, 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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Economic Activity at the Site

As of December 2018, 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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Renewable Energy at the Site

The Summitville Mine water treatment plant sits high in the majestic mountains of southwestern Colorado, and EPA and the State of Colorado are seeking ways to reduce the electricity bill for treating the contaminated water that drains from the mine. The idea of installing solar panels at the mine never received much consideration as they would be covered by deep snow drifts much of the year. However, snow accumulation is no problem in the town of Antonito (approximately 40 miles to the south), so when EPA and the State heard that a community solar garden was being constructed in the town (on an old dump site), and that Summitville could receive energy from the project, the project team got excited. Colorado, the lead agency for the long-term operation and maintenance at the site, just signed a 10-kilowatt subscription (about 40 panels). All the electricity produced by those 40 panels will be credited to the Summitville electric bill as if the panels were located on the roof of the treatment plant. This subscription will generate enough electricity to power two and a half average homes, and will reduce global warming pollution by 15 metric tons per year. It will only cover a small portion of the treatment plant’s energy needs, but the State and EPA are hopeful that the opportunity to acquire a larger subscription will present itself soon.

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