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Bautsch-Gray Mine Site

Site Information
Contact Information

Community Involvement Coordinator
Cheryl Allen (allen.cheryl@epa.gov)
312-353-6196 or 800-621-8431, ext. 36196

Remedial Project Manager
Pamela Molitor
(molitor.pamela@epa.gov)
312-886-3543

Illinois EPA
Bruce Everetts (bruce.everetts@illinois.gov)
Bureau of Land Representative 217-524-1663

Michelle Tebrugge (michelle.tebrugge@illinois.gov)
Community Relations Coordinator
217-524-4825

 

Repositories

(where to view written records)

Galena Public Library
601 S. Bench St.
Galena

Background

The Bautsch-Gray Mine was an operational lead and zinc mine. Since it closed in 1975, tailings from the mine property have continued to erode and move toward residential properties, wetlands and fisheries. In 2000 and 2001, Illinois EPA assessed the site and confirmed that waste piles at the mine property contained elevated levels of lead, arsenic and other heavy metals. Additional investigations showed that nearby creeks and drainage ditches had been affected by contaminants that moved from a large mine tailings pile on the mine property. In addition, one residential drinking water well was found to have been contaminated by the mine tailings.

During a storm in August 2009, heavy rain carried tailings from the main waste pile on the mine property across Blackjack Road onto residential property. According to the Jo Daviess County Highway Department, this has been a problem in previous rainy seasons.

On Aug. 24, 2009, Illinois EPA took samples on and around the site and the residential property and found high levels of lead in soil samples from both places. That prompted the state’s request for federal assistance.  The EPA initiated a time-critical removal action to install and maintain a water treatment system on the residence with elevated lead levels in their well. Removal actions were also taken to regrade the tailings pile and address residential soils. 

Site Updates | Fact Sheets || Technical Documents


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Site Updates

Latest Update

September 2012 

The Bautsch- Gray Mine Site has been added to the Superfund program National Priorities List.  The National Priorities List is EPA's list of the most serious uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites identified for long-term cleanup. EPA will try to identify any local parties potentially responsible for the contamination. For sites without a viable responsible party, EPA investigates the full extent of the contamination before starting any significant cleanup. When a site is added to the NPL it is eligible for financial resources to fully characterize the extent of the contamination and develop a cleanup plan.  EPA will investigate the full extent of the contamination before starting significant cleanup at the site.

How a site is listed

EPA uses a mechanism called the Hazard Ranking System to place hazardous waste sites on the NPL.  This is a scoring tool using initial and limited investigations to assess the potential that the site poses a threat to human health and the environment. Scores are based on the potential of hazardous substances spreading from the site and on other factors such as density and how close the contamination is to people.  


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