only a few days remain for you to comment on a proposal to explore mining the Gilt Edge Super Fund site
This is the Gilt Edge Mine Super Fund Site in the Black Hills. A few days remain for comments on a lessee agreement between the EPA and Agnico Eagle Mines Limited who wants to explore mining the site again. Mining an existing Super Fund Site is a bad idea and you’re voice is needed to get this message accross
(Note: click on the green button marked “SUBMIT A FORMAL COMMENT” on the right side of the screen.)
You may also send comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R08-SFUND-2022-0281 to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.If you would like to obtain more background on the site, go to: https://cumulis.epa.gov/supercpad/SiteProfiles/index.cfm?fuseaction=second.Cleanup&id=0801668#bkground
Points to consider for your comments
In your own words consider using some of the points from the list below.
The primary motive for Agnico to enter into this Agreement is purely about profit because they will be drilling and analyzing the materials to determine if gold is present in sufficient quantities to justify resuming mining at the site. The public needs to better understand what the benefits to the EPA and the State are for entering into this new Agreement.
This new lease Agreement, if approved, would move us closer to the possibility of resuming gold mining at the Site. However, this would be an absolute disaster because if Aginco decides that gold mining is viable and resumes operations at the site, it means the more than $200 in mostly state and federal funds to clean it up will have been wasted.
Agnico must be very hopeful that suitable gold is present at this site because they are willing to pay $2.5 million per year “for the duration of this Settlement.” But there’s no schedule in this Agreement, so how long will that be? An agreement with no end is not a good way to protect the Black Hills.
Agnico entered into a similar agreement in 2018 that contained a great deal of detail about the Scope of Work that was to be conducted, the schedule for carrying it out, and future response costs. All of these components are lacking in this new Agreement.
Agnico’s progress since the first lease Agreement was signed in 2018 is deficient. They were supposed to be collecting and analyzing subsurface samples for cadmium to help the EPA determine the magnitude and extent of the cadmium contamination at the site. But it’s been five years with no reported results to date.
A large amount of iron sulfide is present at the site that is the source of acid mine drainage (AMD). The primary remedial measures and the bulk of the money spent to date at this Superfund site have been to address this AMD issue. If Agnico is given a new lease for continued drilling at the site, the Agreement should also include collecting and reporting their sulfide data.
The bottom line is that we do not want another large open pit mine at this site, so the EPA should not enter into a new Agreement with Agnico that would move us in that direction.