GMUG Seeks Comment on New Dominion Mine Engineering Evaluation and Cost Analysis

Local News

DELTA, Colo. — The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forests’ Norwood Ranger District is seeking public comment during the 30-day public comment period, on the EE/CA for the New Dominion Mine located approximately 700 feet northeast of the Town of Ophir, near National Forest System Road #630 (Ophir Pass Road). The GMUG is evaluating a non-time critical removal action (NTCRA) to address mine waste rock, mill tailings and mine runoff that contain concentrations of metals that may be hazardous to human health and the environment, in accordance with the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA).

The New Dominion Mine site contains remnants of former mill and load out structures, one closed dry adit, two collapsed adits from which water flows year-round, and three distinct deposits of waste rock and tailings. Runoff from the middle adit flows through and around the middle waste rock-tailings deposit. Runoff from the lower adit flows through and around the lower waste rock-tailings deposit, through adjacent beaver ponds, across Ophir Pass Road, and into the existing wetlands. The waste rock-tailings deposits associated with the upper and lower adits are located partially on the National Forest System lands and partially on Town of Ophir property.

A two-part Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) was completed in 2005 and 2006. A preliminary Analysis/Site Inspection (PA/SI) was completed in 2006. The PA/SI included sampling and chemical analyses of waste rock, tailings, surface water and sediment. The results of the ESA and PA/SI are incorporated into the EE/CA report, along with results from chemical analysis of samples collected in 2020. The objective of the EE/CA is to evaluate and select the removal action alternative that reduces the potential for exposure to acceptable levels, and to reduce the potential for contaminants to migrate or be released.

A virtual public meeting is planned to present the EE/CA report and discuss the evaluated removal action alternatives:

All comments regarding the EE/CA report must be received by the USDA Forest Service by March 30, 2021.

Comments may be:

  • Mailed to: GMUG Supervisor’s Office, Attn: Curtis Cross, 2250 South Main Street, Delta, CO 81416.
  • Emailed to: curtis.cross@usda.gov.

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