Tuesday, 18 June 2024

BLM to host Tuesday meeting on Helen mercury mine cleanup

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Collecting a sample at the main adit, or entrance, to the Helen Mercury Mine near Middletown, Calif. Photo courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management.




MIDDLETOWN – The U.S. Bureau of Land Management will hold a public meeting this Tuesday, June 29, to discuss the cleanup project for the Helen mercury mine, located near Middletown.


The meeting at Jesus Christ Fellowship, 21443 Pine Road, Middletown, will begin at 7 p.m. and is expected to last until 9 p.m.


The BLM will present the draft final engineering evaluation and cost analysis for the mine, which will identify the agency's preferred alternative for the response actions to be taken at the site, officials reported.


“The meeting will give the public an opportunity to look at the problem of abandoned mercury mines and the alternatives available to reduce or eliminate those problems at these particular mines,” said Gary Sharpe, supervisory resources management specialist in the BLM Ukiah Field Office.


Sharpe said that participants in the meeting will hear a presentation about the site and alternatives available for remediation. There also will be opportunities to ask questions and provide written comments, he said.


The Helen mercury mine is located in the Dry Creek Mining District southwest of Middletown. The mine was worked from 1874 to 1922 for mercury ore.


The mine site includes approximately 100 acres of BLM-administered public land. Mercury-bearing material is exposed in cuts, slopes, open pits, mine retort waste and waste rock piles.


The BLM also announces the availability of the administrative record that contains all documents, including the draft engineering evaluation and cost analysis, that the BLM has used to support its decisions on appropriate response actions taken at the site so far.


The administrative record is available for review during normal business hours, Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the BLM’s Ukiah Field Office, 2550 N. State St., Ukiah.


The BLM strongly encourages interested members of the public to comment, in writing, on the documents, especially the engineering evaluation and cost analysis, contained in the administrative record.


All comments must be received in writing on or before July 17 to be considered and responded to in the final engineering evaluation and cost analysis decision. The comment period began June 18.


A BLM page on the site can be found at www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/prog/aml/project_page/helen.html.


Comments can be provided at the public meeting, through the BLM’s Web site at www.ca.blm.gov/ukiah, by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., by fax to 707-468-4027, or by mail to BLM Ukiah Field Office, 2550 N. State St., Ukiah, Calif., 95482.


Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

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