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Iron Mountain Mine

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Site Description

Iron Mountain Mine is an inactive copper, zinc, silver, gold, and pyrite mine in Redding, Shasta County, CA. The mine operated from 1879 until it closed in 1963. The site releases acid mine drainage containing high levels of heavy metals. This drainage leads into Keswick Reservoir, Whiskeytown Reservoir, and Shasta Lake by way of the Spring Creek Reservoir and creeks surrounding the site. Fishery resources and other aquatic resources in the Sacramento River below Keswick Reservoir are at risk from site contamination.

Current Site Status and Cleanup Actions to Date

  • Cleanup investigation activities began in 1983
  • EPA implemented an interim cleanup plan, which called for the construction of a partial cap over the Richmond mineralized zone (1988); construction of a clean surface water diversion in Slick?rock Creek (1989); and diversion of the Upper Spring Creek (1990).
  • In 1994, EPA implemented a long-term cleanup action to collect and treat acid mine drainage from the Richmond Mine and Lawson portal, the two largest sources of acidity and metals contamina?tion at Iron Mountain. The same year, the Agency implemented an interim cleanup action to collect and treat the acid mine discharges from the Old/No. 8 Mine Seep, the third largest source of contaminant discharges at the site.
  • EPA implemented an interim cleanup action to construct the Slickrock Creek Retention Reservoir to collect and treat contaminated storm water flows from area sources within the Slickrock Creek watershed in 2004
  • In September 2008, EPA started construction of a long-term cleanup plan that calls for sediment dredging. The action is expected to take five years to complete.

Current Funding Status

  • In 2008, EPA obligated approximately $1.5 million for sediment dredging.
  • To date, EPA has obligated a total of nearly $55.5 million for cleanup activities at this site.

For more information on this site, please read the Iron Mountain Mine fact sheet (http://yosemite.epa.gov/r9/sfund/r9sfdocw.nsf/vwsoalphabetic/Iron+Mountain+Mine?OpenDocument) on the Region 9 Superfund web site.

Key Accomplishments

  • Cleanup actions take to date have reduced by more than 95 percent the discharge of copper, cadmium and zinc from the site into the Sacramento River ecosystem
  • Selected the long-term cleanup plan for sediment dredging in 2004 and, in 2007, completed the dredging design
  • Construction of the sediment dredging cleanup plan began in September 2008


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