Silver City, NM- January 28, 2014- The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service is soliciting public review and comment on the proposed action for an environmental cleanup plan for the Telegraph and Foxtail Creek Mines (Site) under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA).  This Act, known as the Superfund, was enacted by Congress in 1980 to create a tax on the chemical and petroleum industries and provide broad Federal authority to respond directly to releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances that may endanger public health or the environment.  The Site is located on the Silver City Ranger District, Gila National Forest, west of Silver City, N.M., Grant County, in the Big Burro Mountains.

The Forest Service Southwestern Regional Office in Albuquerque, N.M., prepared the Engineering Evaluation and Cost Analysis (EE/CA) report to identify and evaluate several removal action (cleanup) alternatives to address the abandoned waste rock piles associated with past mining activities.  These waste rock piles contain elevated levels of lead and arsenic.  The recommended cleanup alternative is to consolidate the waste rock piles and place them in an on-site repository.  A clean soil cap would be placed above the waste rock in the repository and the area vegetated with native plants.  The repository would reduce the potential risk of exposure to lead and arsenic.
Two places have been established where the public may view the EE/CA for the Site.  These include the Gila National Forest Supervisor’s Office in Silver City, or the Southwestern Regional Office.
Public input and comments will be accepted until Close of Business on February 28, 2014.  Following the comment period, the Engineering Department for the Southwestern Regional Office will consider public input in selecting the final cleanup alternative.  The selected alternative will be documented in a Removal Action Approval Memorandum.
The public is encouraged to comment on the proposed action, as well as all the other alternatives presented in the EE/CA, or to suggest other alternatives.
For questions, additional information, or to request a CD or the EE/CA, contact:
Technical Issues                                                                Community Involvement
Steve McDonald, On-Scene Coordinator                               Russ Ward, Silver City District Ranger
USDA Forest Service, Southwestern Region                         Gila National Forest
333 Broadway Blvd, SW                                                    3005 Camino Del Bosque
Albquerque, NM 87102                                                     Silver City, NM 88061
505-842-3837: smcdonald@fs.fed.us                                575-388-8201: rdward@fs.fed.us

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