By Kathleen Woodford, Excerpt from Mineral Independent
A public comment meeting was held last Thursday, Jan. 14 by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), the US Forest Service (USFS) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), regarding an Engineering Evaluation and Cost Analysis (EE/CA) for the Flat Creek-Iron Mountain Mine National Priority List Superfund Site located four miles northeast of Superior.
At the meeting, held in the Multi-Purpose room at Superior High School, the EE/CA was presented. It identifies and evaluates alternatives for addressing mine tailings on USFS and former ASARCO owned lands consisting of the Flat Creek watershed.
Heavy metal contamination at the site originated from the Iron Mountain Mine which produced silver, gold, lead, copper and zinc in the early to mid-1900s. The tailings from the mine contain elevated concentrations of metals and have been deposited along nearly four miles of the Flat Creek floodplain, posing a continuing source of contamination to the creek.