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Superfund Redevelopment Initiative

Superfund Sites in Reuse in Idaho

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Blackbird Mine

The 10,830-acre Blackbird Mine is an inactive mine located 25 miles west of the town of Salmon, Idaho. It is in the Salmon-Challis National Forest. From 1893 until 1982, several companies mined cobalt and copper on site, both underground using tunnels and above ground in open pits. These activities resulted in the contamination of soil, sediment, surface water and groundwater with heavy metals. EPA proposed the site for listing on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1993. EPA has not listed the site on the NPL. Since 1995, cleanup actions by the Blackbird Mine Site Group have included collection and treatment of contaminated water as well as stabilization of waste rock piles. Monitoring is ongoing. Site uses include residences, agricultural uses (primarily pasture), fishing, hunting, sightseeing and camping.
Last updated September 2019

As of December 2018, EPA did not have economic data related to on-site businesses, or economic data were not applicable due to site use. For additional information click here.

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Bunker Hill Mining & Metallurgical Complex Athletic Fields Reuse Capped Site Reuse Tribal Lands/Native American Interests

Silver Mountain Resort gondola and condosSki Gondola at Silver Mountain Resort The Bunker Hill Mining & Metallurgical Complex Superfund site is located in Idaho’s Silver Valley. The Silver Valley is one of the largest historical mining districts in the world. Mining operations began in the area in 1883 and continue today. When the Bunker Hill lead smelter and several associated mines closed in the 1980s, the economy of the surrounding area nearly collapsed. Thousands of people were jobless. Heavy metals had contaminated the countryside. Local tests found high blood lead levels in area children. In response, EPA added the 21-square-mile area around the old smelter to the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1983. Cleanup and ecological restoration around the lead smelter included the removal of lead-contaminated soil from residential and commercial properties and common use areas such as parks, the containment of millions of tons of mine tailings, and the planting of two million trees over 2,290 hillside acres. Lead levels in children have fallen dramatically, to levels equivalent to national averages. The Panhandle Health District, the state of Idaho (the State) and EPA continue to educate Silver Valley children to avoid lead-contaminated areas and accidental lead ingestion, particularly for recreational areas. The Panhandle Health District, the State and EPA also developed a comprehensive Institutional Controls Program (ICP) for the site. It provides safe and clear procedures for maintaining the protective barriers that allow for ongoing development in the Silver Valley. EPA is cleaning up the site in three main areas, or operable units. Operable units 1 and 2 focused on work in the 21-square-mile area around the smelter. A cleanup decision for operable unit 3 in 2002 included actions in the Upper and Lower Basin, actions in the Spokane River in Washington, and a Lake Management Plan for Lake Coeur d’Alene. In August 2012, EPA modified the cleanup decision for the Upper Basin. This change calls for $635 million in additional cleanup actions in this area of the site over the next 30 years, particularly at mine and mill source areas in Ninemile and Canyon Creek. The work includes $54 million for repair of roads and streets in community areas, projects that prevent flooding and recontamination in community areas already cleaned up, continued property remediation, and source controls at mine sites. Starting in 1987, the city of Kellogg began to pursue redevelopment opportunities at cleaned-up portions of the site. The site is now home to the Silver Mountain Resort, which includes a neighborhood, residential condominiums, commercial development, indoor water park, a nine-hole golf course, which will be developed into an 18-hole golf course, and a ski area. Cleanup and the ICP facilitated additional development throughout the Silver Valley. This includes a commercial property that is now occupied by Wal-Mart; O’Reilly Auto Parts store; a new dialysis center; apartment housing; converting contaminated land along a railroad to a renowned, paved, 72-mile recreational trail (The Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes); and many commercial developments that would not have been possible without the cleanup and ICP. To date, more than 1,800 acres of property have been transferred to the State for economic development projects in operable units 1 and 2. In 2015, EPA Region 10 presented the Howard Orlean Excellence in Site Reuse award to Mike and Brenda Schlepp in recognition of their care and commitment to their land. The Schlepps worked with EPA and several other site stakeholders to convert 400 acres of agricultural land in Idaho’s Coeur d’Alene Basin, part of the Bunker Hill Mining & Metallurgical Complex Superfund site, into healthy wetland habitat. This ecological restoration effort provides uncontaminated habitat for tundra swans and other waterfowl. The birds use the site as a migratory stopover to rest and feed along their lengthy annual migration. In 2015, EPA constructed a 300-foot riverbank stabilization project in the Lower Basin at a recreation area. As of 2019, workers have cleaned up over 7,000 residential and commercial properties and paved over 75 miles of roads in community areas. This work also includes operation of four long-term repositories that securely contain contaminated soils and other materials from the cleanup. Four additional limited-use disposal locations have also been developed for disposal of low-level contaminated road waste. The limited use disposal locations will be available for development in the future. In 2015, EPA initiated a pilot project in the Lower Basin to assess the impacts of different caps on wetland areas to protect freshwater birds and inform future remedial actions in the Lower Basin. In 2018, EPA’s Superfund Redevelopment Initiative (SRI) began working with Region 10, the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (IDEQ) and local communities to provide reuse planning support through regional seed funding. The purpose is to evaluate site reuse opportunities and plan for future redevelopment of targeted areas. SRI will then develop an area-wide reuse framework for priority parcels. The framework will provide IDEQ and local stakeholders with a coordinated reuse strategy for undeveloped parcels and identify near- and long-term opportunities for productive use that are compatible with the site’s remedy. On average, EPA is spending at least $25 million per year on the cleanup, which employs about 400 people. With EPA’s mission to protect human health and the environment in mind, EPA headquarters established the Superfund Task Force in May 2017 to provide recommendations for improving and expediting site cleanups and promoting redevelopment. Based on the Superfund Task Force recommendations, EPA identified the site as a Redevelopment Opportunity site – a site with the greatest expected redevelopment potential.
Last updated September 2019

As of December 2018, EPA had data on 312 on-site businesses. These businesses employed 2,848 people and generated an estimated $283,726,801 in annual sales revenue. For additional information click here.

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Monsanto Chemical Co. (Soda Springs Plant)

The 800-acre Monsanto Chemical Co. (Soda Springs Plant) Superfund site is located outside Soda Springs, Idaho. The site includes the 540-acre Monsanto plant as well as 260 acres of buffer area, owned in part by various farmers. In 1990, EPA listed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) after identification of contamination in groundwater and soils at the site. EPA required that Monsanto place restrictions on the buffer area. In 1998, Monsanto developed land use controls on the buffer area. Monsanto took actions to control harmful emissions from contaminated material on site. It is investigating other materials as potential sources to groundwater. In a recent review, groundwater monitoring indicated that natural cleanup may not be occurring for some contaminants. The recent review also found that the area of groundwater contamination is larger than originally defined. In response, EPA is performing a supplemental remedial investigation including pilot testing for groundwater treatment. EPA will select the new groundwater cleanup actions for the site as the project progresses through supplemental investigation. Monsanto continues to operate on site, producing refined phosphorus for multiple uses.
Last updated September 2019

As of December 2018, EPA had data on 2 on-site businesses. These businesses employed 401 people and generated an estimated $22,439,000 in annual sales revenue. For additional information click here.

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Pacific Hide & Fur Recycling Co.

A view of Pacific Steel and Recycling, Inc. currently at the sitePacific Hide & Fur Recycling Co.The 17-acre Pacific Hide & Fur Recycling Co. Superfund site is located in Pocatello, Idaho. From 1950 to 1983, the McCarty family owned and operated gravel mining and metal salvaging businesses at the site. Metals from site activities seeped into the soil. In 1983, EPA found soil on site and in the surrounding area with high lead levels. EPA removed highly contaminated soils and added the site to the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1984. Working with the owners, EPA led removal and treatment of soils contaminated with lead and polychlorinated biphenyls throughout the site. EPA deleted the site from the NPL in 1999. Pacific Steel and Recycling, Inc. operates a facility on site.
Last updated September 2019

As of December 2018, EPA had data on one on-site business. This business employed 21 people and generated an estimated $16,127,000 in annual sales revenue. For additional information click here.

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Union Pacific Railroad Co.

The 1-acre Union Pacific Railroad Co. (UPRR) Superfund site, also known as the UPRR Sludge Pit site, is located in Pocatello, Idaho. From 1961 until 1983, UPRR dumped sludge from its wastewater treatment plant into a 1-acre unlined sludge pit. In 1983, EPA found that seepage from UPRR’s sludge pit and a nearby railroad-tie-treating facility contributed to contamination of the underlying aquifers. EPA added the site to the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1984. UPRR performed cleanup activities under a legal agreement with EPA. UPRR completed the cleanup actions in 1994. Cleanup activities included of the removal and off-site disposal of tons of sludge and soil. UPRR also pre-treated millions of gallons of groundwater before discharging it to the city’s water treatment plant. After confirming the success of the cleanup, EPA deleted the site from the NPL in 1997. Amtrak currently operates a train station on site.
Last updated September 2019

As of December 2018, EPA did not have economic data related to on-site businesses, or economic data were not applicable due to site use. For additional information click here.

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