ReclamationJames Egnew of the Payette National Forest has been working to ensure that Stibnite not become a Superfund site. This is his analysis of what has been happening at Stibnite:
The USDA Forest Service (FS), Idaho Department of Lands, and Idaho Division of Environmental Quality (IDEQ) awarded a contract for reclamation of the recent (1981 98) mining activity in the fall of 1998. Work began in 1998 and will continue until the summer of 2000.
Twelve miles of exploration road and 7 miles of haul road are being restored to the original slope contour. Stream channels and wetlands are being restored, buildings, utilities, bridges, and other improvements removed, and the main road through the site is being reduced in width. Although the earthwork will be completed in 2000, maintenance and monitoring will continue for years.”
In the summer of 1998, Mobil Resources Corporation under an agreement with the FS and US Environmental Protection Agency worked to stabilize millions of cubic yards of mill historic tailing deposited in the Meadow Creek valley, which were partially capped with spent ore from the recent gold mining activity.
Tailing containing heavy metals such as arsenic, antimony, and mercury were being transported downstream into Meadow Creek and into the East Fork South Fork of the Salmon River. Mobil constructed a new channel to protect Meadow Creek as it passed around and through the tailings. The spent ore pile was regraded and seeded. Meadow Creek, which had flowed in a diversion constructed in the 1940’s, was rerouted into a channel closer to its original location.
Currently, the historic Stibnite site is the subject of a site characterization and risk analysis being conducted under the direction IDEQ. This is being done to determine possible effects to human health and the environment resulting from years of mining and milling activities.