The Forest Service recently issued a draft Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis for these two sites that describes the proposed cleanup efforts. The EE/CA and other environmental investigations that have been completed at these two sites are available for review at the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest website at http://go.usa.gov/rUdz
The meeting will be held from 1 to 3:30 p.m. at Bumping Lake Marina, located on Bumping Lake’s north shore. On-Scene-Coordinator Joseph Gibbens with the Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Region will be available to answer questions about the cleanup and related Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) process.
President Jimmy Carter signed CERCLA into law in 1980. The Forest Service was given the authority for CERCLA cleanups on national forests in 1986.
The goal of the cleanup effort is to prevent hazardous substances from waste rock from leaching into surface waters at the Copper City Mill and Granite Lake Prospect sites. This work will also prevent future releases of these hazardous substances into water sources.
In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, mining activities above Bumping Lake and along Miner’s Ridge left tailing deposits from milling ore for gold, silver, copper and tungsten. The area was extensively explored and developed by the Copper Mining Company, which located 42 claims on Miner’s Ridge. About 800 tons of ore were shipped from 1916 until 1942, when the mining and processing ceased.
The only know mill in the area was the Copper City Mill at the Copper City town site, southeast of Miner’s Ridge. The mill was disassembled and moved to other Cascade Range mining locations in 1948. Remnants of the Copper City Mill consist of a multi-tiered, wood-post foundation structure. Below the lowest tier of the mill is a relatively flat, grass-covered area. Waste material at this area consists of fine-grained material overlying native soil.
The Granite Lake Prospect site sits on the southwestern edge of Granite Lake, about three miles south of Bumping Lake. An associated waste rock pile extends from a collapsed mine entrance near the lake. Mining-related disturbance is limited to the mine entrance and a waste rock pile on the shores of Granite Lake.
Crushed rocks in tailing piles at the two sites contain various hazardous substances such as arsenic, chromium and nickel. Runoff from tailing piles continues to release hazardous substances that have adverse effects on groundwater and surface water quality. It is estimated 460 cubic yards of ore material was left at the Copper City Mill site and 33 cubic yards at the Granite Lake site.
Bumping Lake Marina is located about 54 miles west of Yakima. State Route 410, Chinook Pass, leads to Bumping River Road or Forest Service Road 1800. Follow Bumping River Road for 13 miles to the lake’s dam, then turn right and follow signs to the marina.
For more information on the meeting and its location, contact Naches Ranger District Visitor Services Specialist Doug Jenkins at 509-653-1468.
The Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest is administering several other CERCLA efforts, including the Holden Mine, Azurite Mine, Antimony Queen Mine and Beth Lake Prospect Cleanup Projects.