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Posted on: December 24, 2019

EPA Update Iron King Mine/Humboldt Smelter

July 22, 2020

In June 2020, EPA issued a reuse assessment of the former Humboldt Smelter property. EPA does not choose or pay for future land uses. However, we need to know what future land use the community might want. That way, we can see how our site cleanup options for the former smelter property can be compatible with the community’s reuse ideas. The ideas in the assessment were gathered over the past two years from key stakeholders and participants in EPA’s May 2019 workshop. This assessment summarizes the community ideas, describe how redevelopment has occurred at other Superfund sites and seeks to assist the community in thinking about how various redevelopment options could be implemented.

Community ideas for reuse include: open space, bike trails, walking trails, disc golf, recreational fields, recreational vehicle (RV) and camping, park space, amphitheater or event space, nature preserve and other economic development opportunities (such as businesses, waste treatment and solar panels).

June 18, 2020

In late May 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) placed around 40 additional warning signs at and around the former Humboldt Smelter property. These smaller signs are mounted to the new fencing and on posts in a line across where the tailings flood plain. These are in addition to the larger signs we added in 2019 (see December update). They warn of chemical and physical hazards in these areas. 

We placed these additional warning signs:

In addition, EPA also performed work at the front gate of the smelter to limit access. At the front gate, we added barbed wire to the top and added gravel underneath.

EPA also inspected the “Posi-Shell” covering we place in 2019 to control dust at the smelter property (see December update), and we determined it is in good shape.

April 7, 2020

In late 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) placed fencing at the former Humboldt Smelter property to limit public access.  EPA continues to work with the owner of the former Iron King Mine property to upgrade and add fencing.  We ask the public to follow warning signs and stay away from the mine and smelter properties

In early 2020, EPA focused on the study of options to clean up the contamination, called a “Feasibility Study.”  This study uses the information EPA collected in the remedial investigation, which was a comprehensive evaluation of sampling data and information about the nature and extent of contamination.  The Feasibility Study will also use information about approaches to reuse the smelter plateau, collected during the May 2019 community brainstorming workshop.

EPA was planning a trip to Dewey-Humboldt.  However, we continue to adjust to the evolving COVID-19 situation. EPA is taking necessary steps to ensure that decisions about ongoing cleanup activities at Superfund sites are made with the health and safety of communities, EPA staff, and contractors as the priority.  As a result, we are postponing in-person public meeting events to reflect current COVID-19 guidance from federal, state, tribal and local officials. 

In the meantime, we have updated EPA’s Iron King Mine/Humboldt Smelter site webpage.  Please contact EPA with any questions using the contacts on our webpage

December 24, 2019

In early December, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took actions to control blowing dust from the grayish-colored waste dross on the former smelter property. EPA applied a product called Posi-Shell over the waste dross material. This forms a crust over the dross to prevent its entrainment by wind.

This past fall, EPA placed nine warning signs in areas on or near the former smelter property and former Iron King Mine property. These signs warn of chemical and physical hazards in these areas. In addition, EPA placed fencing at the former smelter property to limit public access. EPA continues to work with the owner of the former Iron King Mine property to upgrade and add fencing.

Iron King Mine and Smelter Superfund
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