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Release Date: 5/3/1996
Contact Information: Paula Bruin, U.S. EPA, (415) 744-1587

 (San Francisco)--The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) today announced a proposed plan to collect and treat contaminated discharges from the Slickrock Creek to reduce the impacts of discharge of metal-contaminated waters from the Iron Mountain Mine (IMM) Superfund site. IMM is a 4,400-acre Superfund site located nine miles northwest of Redding, Calif.

     The public is invited to attend a community meeting and provide comments on the proposed plan.  The meeting will be held
at 7:00 p.m., Thursday, May 23, 1996, at the city council chambers, 1313 California St., Redding.
     "Collecting and treating the contaminated Slickrock Creek discharges will significantly reduce heavy metal releases to the Sacramento River,"  said Keith Takata, U.S. EPA's Superfund division director.  "Prior to the Superfund action, Iron Mountain Mine was the largest discharger of heavy metals to surface water in the nation and continues to have a major impact on the valuable Sacramento River fishery and water resources."

     U.S. EPA is proposing to build a 105-foot high dam in the Slickrock Creek in order to capture the contaminated runoff and treat it at the IMM lime neutralization plant.  The plant, which began operating in October 1994, removed approximately 80 percent of the heavy metal discharges during the severe storms of January through March 1995.

       All contaminated waters from the Slickrock Creek would be treated.  The heavy metals would become bound in a sludge and disposed of onsite in the Brick Flat Pit landfill.  

     "U.S. EPA will make a final decision after hearing from the public.  This comment period allows the community an opportunity to actively participate in the decision-making process," said Takata.

     The public may also comment on the proposed cleanup plan by
submitting written comments, postmarked by June 3, 1996, to:

     Rick Sugarek (H-6-2)
     U.S. EPA, Region 9
     Hazardous Waste Management Division
     75 Hawthorne St.
     Between the 1860s and 1963, Iron Mountain Mine was periodically mined for iron, silver, gold, copper, zinc and pyrite.  Though mining operations were discontinued in 1963, underground mine works, waste rock dumps, piles of ore tailings, and an open mine pit still remain at the site.

     Iron Mountain Mine was placed on U.S. EPA's National Priority List (NPL) in 1983.  The NPL is the U.S. EPA's list of hazardous waste sites potentially posing the greatest long-term threat to public health and the environment.  U.S. EPA identifies and ranks NPL sites according to threats to nearby populations through actual or potential contamination of groundwater, surface water or air.

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