Superfund Site: NELSON TUNNEL/COMMODORE WASTE ROCK
Superfund Site Profile
The Nelson Tunnel/Commodore Waste Rock Pile Superfund site is located about one mile north of Creede, Mineral County, Colorado. At the abandoned hard rock mine site, the Nelson Tunnel discharges acid mine drainage directly into West Willow Creek. The site also includes a formerly unstable waste rock pile that is part of the Commodore Mine. These features contribute contaminants to surface water.
South of the site, West Willow Creek joins East Willow Creek to form Willow Creek. Willow Creek is a tributary of the Rio Grande River, a state-designated Gold Medal fishery. Historically, mining of silver, lead, and zinc provided economic benefits to the area in and around the Creede mining district.
The site was added to the National Priorities List (Superfund) in September 2008. In 2008 and 2009, EPA conducted a removal action to stabilize the Commodore Rock Pile.
In 2011, EPA completed the site’s remedial investigation, which assessed the nature and extent of contamination. The site’s feasibility study is underway. The study will explore appropriate cleanup options.