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Superfund Program Implements the Recovery Act

Upper Ten Mile

Community of Rimini in Lewis and Clark County, Montana

Site Description
The Upper Tenmile Creek Mining Area site is located in the Rimini Mining District, southwest of Helena, MT.  Numerous abandoned and inactive hard rock mine sites are scattered throughout the 53-square-mile watershed.  Historic mining activities produced gold, lead,  zinc and copperWith the exception of the small community of Rimini, the Landmark subdivision, a small subdivision approximately 10 miles from Rimini, and a few seasonal cabins, the site is largely undeveloped forested land used for recreation.  The City of Helena has relied upon the Upper Tenmile Creek watershed as a source of potable water for over 100 years.  Contaminants of concern include heavy metals, such as lead, copper, zinc and arsenic; these contaminants have been found in surface water, ground water, soil, and stream sediments. 

Cleanup Activities to Date
EPA added the site to the National Priorities List in 1999.  In 2002, EPA issued a decision document outlining the general cleanup approach for the site, which called for continued reclamation of mined lands, establishment of a site-wide repository for mine wastes, clean up of residential yards and public roads, and additional measures to ensure safe drinking water for area residents.  In 2003-2004, cleanup of contaminated residential soils occurred in the Landmark subdivision, and in 2006, cleanup of contaminated residential soils in Rimini was initiated.  In 2007 the Lee Mountain Mine staging area was remediated; improvements were made to the Luttrell Repository; and a temporary cap was placed on contaminants in Rimini Road.  In 2008, cleanup of contaminated yards in the Landmark subdivision was re-started.  Also, since 2005, EPA has provided Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) funding to Rimini Community, Inc., an organization that uses the funds to provide independent technical assistance to the community.

Recovery Act Project Activity
EPA will use $6.65 million in Recovery Act funds to significantly expedite the ongoing cleanup and to start new work. Ongoing work to be supported by Recovery Act funds includes the removal of waste from residential yards in the community of Rimini and the Landmark subdivision, and removal of waste at the Lee Mountain Mine, placement of waste in the Luttrell Repository, and additional stabilization and partial capping of the repository. New work to be performed with Recovery Act funds will be the removal of waste from the Rimini Road.

FY2011 highlights include:

  • Significant progress was made on the 3 Recovery Act-funded projects at Upper Tenmile Creek during the fiscal year. Coordination of all activities was of utmost concern as to not impact residents more than necessary.
  • The main road through Rimini was completely excavated and backfilled to remediate contaminated material. Approximately 18,000 cubic yards of waste were removed from the Rimini Road.
  • Nearly all of the residential yards were remediated with new septic systems installed and landscaping complete. There are 4 yards remaining to be remediated. Approximately 6,000 cubic yards of waste were removed from the yards in Rimini and 9,000 cubic yards of waste were removed from the Lee Mountain site.
  • Approximately 133,000 cubic yards of material were moved at the Luttrell Repository highwall layback project. This created additional space at the repository and provided more stable slopes.

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