Fifteen years after federal regulators started assessing damage and health risks at the abandoned Anaconda copper mine site, the Environmental Protection Agency is moving to designate the contaminated land a Superfund site, a step the state could still oppose.
The request follows a number of years of litigation and investigation by residents around the sites (represented by Kanner & Whiteley) involving groundwater contamination resulting from operations at the former Anaconda Mine Site. The lawsuit highlighted the issues with delays and inadequacies of the cleanup activities at the former mine site and repeatedly requested greater oversight and accountability in the cleanup process. The case settled in 2013 for a value of almost $19.5 million, resolving class members’ property damage and medical monitoring claims against Atlantic Richfield Co. and BP America, Inc.
The E.P.A. sent a letter to Gov. Brian Sandoval this week announcing its intention to place the mine on the Superfund’s National Priority List of the nation’s most polluted sites to “mitigate exposures that are a substantial threat to the public health or welfare or the environment.”
“If we do not receive a written response from the state by Jan. 29, we will assume that Nevada is in agreement with E.P.A. and will proceed with proposing the site for addition to the N.P.L.,” Jared Blumenfeld, the agency’s regional administrator in San Francisco, wrote in a Dec. 22 letter obtained by The Associated Press.
For more information, please go here: E.P.A.pdf