National Enforcement Initiative: Reducing Pollution from Mineral Processing Operations

Mineral processing from mines results in products (like gold) and mine waste. Mine waste can be toxic.

Fast Fact

Enforcement at gold mines resulted in reducing 180 million pounds of mercury hazardous waste.


Mining and mineral processing facilities generate more toxic and hazardous waste than any other industrial sector, costing billions of dollars to address the public health and environmental threats to communities. EPA will reduce the risk of mining waste contamination of drinking water, rivers, and streams, and work to cleanup mining sites across the nation.


EPA will take action to minimize or eliminate risks to drinking water and other threats to communities and the environment from high risk mining and mineral processing sites and mines.

Enforcement Cases

Note: This is a sample list of cases.


Progress on Reducing Pollution

The following maps and charts show EPA's progress in inspecting and addressing high risk mineral processing facilities.

Status of mineral processing facilities (Map shows addressed and unaddressed facilities)