Superfund Site Profile
The Ore Knob Mine site is located in Jefferson, North Carolina. It includes areas affected by periodic copper mining from the 1850s to 1962. EPA placed the site on the Superfund program’s National Priorities List (NPL) in 2009 because of contaminated surface water, groundwater, sediment and soil resulting from mining operations. EPA and the North Carolina Department of Natural Resources and Environment (NCDENR) have investigated site conditions and taken steps to clean up the site in order to protect people and the environment from contamination.
EPA has attempted to identify all affected drinking water wells and provide bottled water or well treatment systems where necessary. EPA has also undertaken an emergency response action to stabilize a tailings impoundment dam and prevent a catastrophic release of tailings into nearby streams and rivers. In February 2015, EPA completed an investigation and determined a municipal water line will be extended approximately 8 miles from the Town of Jefferson through Ashe County to affected residents near the Ore Knob Mine Site. EPA is also conducting an investigation to assess other affected parts of the site, including soils, surface water and sediment for long-term site cleanup options.