An Update from BLM Regarding Red Devil Mine
January 6, 2014

Late in December, the GTC received BLM’s latest newsletter documenting updates about the clean up at the Red Devil Mine site. 

Some of the important details of this newsletter include results from Remedial Investigation, the consideration of Early Action, and “Next Steps”.

The results of the Remedial Investigation confirmed that large piles of tailings near Red Devil Creek “contain high concentrations of mercury, arsenic and antimony.”  These tailings are releasing metals into the soil and water.  Is it just in the immediate area?  No.  The newsletter states, “One key finding of the Remedial Investigation was confirmation that contaminated tailings are migrating down Red Devil Creek and into the Kuskokwim River.”  This is why BLM is considering Early Action.

According to the newsletter, the Early Action alternatives to address this concern that are being considered include:
1. Lining the section of Red Devil Creek nearest the tailings pile with concrete cloth
2. Installing culvert pipe in the section of Red Devil Creek nearest the tailings.
3. Excavating a new channel in the section of Red Devil Creek nearest the tailings, and moving the tailings pile back from the creek.

Next Steps?  BLM will be hosting an informative session at AFE on February 3; it will outline the alternatives being considered for early action.  Also this January, BLM will be contacting communities along the Kuskokwim to schedule community meetings and tribal consultations during the months of February and March.  Comments and questions at these meetings will be encouraged regarding early action alternatives.

BLM states that input from communities will be considered prior to making a decision on one of the three alternatives.  Each alternative is evaluated based on “how effective it is in preventing tailings migration, how well it can be done (or accomplished), and cost”.

If you are interested in being part of a Georgetown meeting with BLM, let us know!

For a copy of the full newsletter, please follow this link.

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