Copper Bluff Mine on EPA National Priority List for “Superfund” sites

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HOOPA, CA., (KIEM)- An abandoned Humboldt County mine is on the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superfund program’s National Priority List (NPL).

The copper bluff mine is one of 6 hazardous waste sites on the list. Open from about 1928 until 1964, the mine historically produced silver, copper, zinc and gold. Now, it is still leaking acid mine drainage into the Trinity River.

Now, the EPA will set about cleaning up the site, which is damaging vital fisheries for the Hoopa Valley Tribe.

“Though the Copper Bluff Mine closed decades ago, it is still affecting the Trinity River, the Hoopa Valley Tribe and the tribal fishery,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “Proposing the site for inclusion on the National Priorities List is an important step towards cleaning up this toxic legacy.”

The Superfund program has been in place for about 35 years. States, tribes and communities can come to the EPA and ask for help cleaning up contamination. At that point, the federal agency launches an investigation and begins the clean up process. The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, which established the Superfund program, requires EPA to update the NPL annually.