Cleaning up the Ruby Mining District for communities today and tomorrow.
Home to one of the three largest producing silver mines in the Ruby Mining District from 1874 to 1974, the 10-acre Standard Mine is located at an elevation of 11,000 feet in a remote and isolated area of the Gunnison National Forest in Gunnison County, Colorado, USA.
Over the years, mining activities at the site caused heavy metals like cadmium copper lead manganese zinc to be deposited into soil, surface water and groundwater, including Elk Creek which flows into Coal Creek, the water supply source for the small resort community of Crested Butte.
A record of decision issued in 2011 called for implementation of the remedial action in two phases. The first-phase set to include contaminant controls, construction of a concrete flow-through bulkhead, waste rock stabilisation, adit discharge controls, interim monitoring and institutional controls. If necessary, Phase 2 was anticipated to include construction of a passive water treatment system to improve water quality in Elk Creek.
In an effort to protect the surrounding communities’ soil and water, our team of remediation specialists began working with EPA to develop a remedial design in 2013.
In 2015, our role was expanded to include construction of the remedial action. Over the last two years, our team has successfully installed the flow‐through bulkhead and completed majority of the contaminant controls during limited construction seasons. Working closely with EPA and stakeholders, we developed an emergency action plan that incorporated community priorities for protecting the Crested Butte water supply.
During remedial action, our team engineered a bypass adit as an alternative to an expensive rehabilitation of unstable ground near the entrance, resulting in approximately $1.3 million in savings, increased safety, and minimised environmental risk.