Anaconda Mine construction to start in August

A Nevada Department of Environmental Protection aerial photo of the Anaconda Mine which lies on the other side of the Pine Nut Mountains from Carson Valley.

A Nevada Department of Environmental Protection aerial photo of the Anaconda Mine which lies on the other side of the Pine Nut Mountains from Carson Valley.

Work to clean up the Anaconda Mine Site is expected to begin in August. 

It has been three years since the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency transferred oversight of the site over to the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection. 

Spanning across more than 260 acres, the upcoming heavy construction phase will be funded with over $32 million from Atlantic Richfield Co. and approximately $2.7 million from hazardous waste disposal fees. 

Starting work on the site will help the state ensure Atlantic Richfield Company completes the revitalization work at the site on schedule. The full clean-up for the entire site, which consists of three phases, is on track for completion by 2029.

“Breaking ground on this major construction phase marks a significant and highly-anticipated milestone in our plan to successfully expedite protective cleanup of the historic Anaconda Mine Site,” said NDEP Administrator Greg Lovato. “We will continue applying the best available science to ensure that current and future activities are protective of public health and the natural environment, and I thank our State, Federal, Tribal, and Community partners for their ongoing collaboration and support. We look forward to continuing a phased cleanup approach to ensure a healthy, vibrant, sustainable future for Mason Valley residents.”

Justin Abernathy, Deputy State Director of Minerals Management, Bureau of Land Management - Nevada State Office, added: “The start of the heavy construction phase is an important step in the phased approach to successfully and permanently cleaning up the Anaconda Mine Site. Effective collaboration and coordination between federal, state, tribal, local government, and community partners, along with the application of the best available science, best management practices and, where appropriate, innovative approaches have been and will continue to be critical to achieving our shared goal of cleaning up the site. The BLM Nevada thanks all of our partners and looks forward to continuing our collaborative efforts.”

This first phase of the Anaconda Mine clean-up plan includes the installation of five new fluid management ponds (completed in 2020), recontouring and capping over 260 acres of mine landscape features to protect water quality, and constructing stormwater controls. These improvements will protect groundwater quality and minimize the amount of acidic drain-down fluid resulting from precipitation so that it can be more effectively controlled in the newly constructed lined evaporation ponds.

Regular status updates and specific timelines will be announced in advance of the project breaking ground in August 2021. Additionally, NDEP will continue to require Atlantic Richfield Company to monitor all identified, as well as potential, mine-related groundwater contamination on an ongoing basis.

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