Comments, questions encouraged on Leviathan clean up

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE - Federal environmental officials will be available to answer questions and collect comments about cleaning up Leviathan Mine at a session in Gardnerville Wednesday night.

With the recent Supefund listing, the Environmental Protection Agency is trying to determine its next steps in rehabilitating the site.

The EPA, along with other land management agencies, will hold a public meeting on the Leviathan Mine to answer questions and collect community concerns about the Superfund status.

Kevin Mayer, EPA's Leviathan Mine project manager, said community involvement is key in developing a plan of attack for the 250-acre site.

"On a high level, it touched some sort of chord for the people in Alpine and Douglas counties," Mayer said. "We want them to come to the meeting and ask questions because it helps us know what they're worried about and how they use the resources in that area."

Vicki Rosen, EPA's Superfund community involvement coordinator, said the meeting is chance for people to ask about how the Superfund process works, and about short-term and long-term actions planned for Leviathan Mine.

"It will only be the first of many meetings," Rosen said. "We have a clear mandate to include community involvement in the Superfund decision making process."

If you can't attend the meeting, questions about Leviathan Mine and the Superfund process should be directed to the EPA at (800) 231-3075.

The inactive sulfur mine in the mountains of Alpine County has been sending toxins into a creek that flows into the East Fork of the Carson River and toward expanding residential settlements in Nevada's Douglas County.

California's Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board with some success treated the poisonous water coming from the Leviathan Mine, but a need for more fire power was apparent, an Environmental Protection Agency official said.

Earlier this month, Leviathan Mine was listed as a federal Superfund site, a classification that is reserved only for the most threatening environmental polluters in the nation. The Superfund status will bring federal attention and funding for cleanup efforts. It will also hold Arco, the oil giant and successor company to Anaconda, Inc. which operated the mine though 1960, responsible for a portion of the cost.

What: Leviathan Mine public meeting

Where: Carson Valley Middle School, Gardnerville, Nev.

When: Wednesday, 7 p.m.


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