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EPA Proposes Adding Ely Mine in Vershire, Vt. to Superfund List

Release Date: 06/14/2001
Contact Information: Andrew Spejewski, EPA Press Office (617-918-1014)

BOSTON -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today proposed adding the Ely Mine in Vershire, Vermont to the EPA's National Priorities List (known as the "Superfund List"). The National Priorities List is EPA's list of the country's most serious uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites identified for possible long-term cleanup. Adding a site to the Superfund List ensures that EPA will oversee and manage cleanup of the site, and makes federal funds available when private financing is unavailable.

EPA is taking public comments on the proposed listing for 60 days.

"The state of Vermont has done a good job of working with the community to make sure there's support for this proposal, " said Ira Leighton, acting regional administrator for EPA's New England office. "By adding Ely Mine to the Superfund list, we can put federal resources to work cleaning it up."

The Ely Copper Mine is an abandoned copper mine located off of Beanville Road in Vershire, Vt. About 300 acres of the 1,800 acre property were used for mining, resulting in approximately 100,000 tons of tailings and slag on the property. Rainwater leaches acid and toxic metals from the tailings, contaminating the Ely Brook.

With the proposal of the site to the NPL, EPA is able to begin a full investigation of the nature and extent of contamination at the site. The results of the investigation will be used to develop a long-term clean-up plan for the site.

Also today three sites in New England were finalized to the NPL: the Elizabeth Mine in South Strafford, Vt.; the Sutton Brook Disposal Area (also known as Rocco's Landfill) in Tewksbury, Mass.; and the Nuclear Metals, Inc. site (also known as the Starmet site) in Concord, Mass.