Leviathan Mine Superfund Site Technical Support

Leviathan Mine Superfund Site Technical Support
California, Nevada, Arizona, & Navajo Nation

The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) awarded Burleson an indefinite deliverable/ indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract to support efforts to restore abandoned mine lands (AML) throughout EPA Region 9.

Under this contract, Burleson is providing technical support to EPA at the Leviathan Mine Superfund Site in Alpine County, California. The Leviathan Mine is an inactive sulfur mine on State of California and National Forest System lands on the east slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It was opened in the late 1800s, it was converted to an open-pit operation in 1951, and was abandoned in 1962.

The Leviathan Mine is a Superfund site regulated under CERCLA by the EPA. Acid drainage from this site enters streams that flow to the Carson River. The EPA ordered Atlantic Richfield Company to install and operate water treatment systems and supervises State of California activities to improve water quality.

At Leviathan, there are two active water treatment systems that operate over the spring, summer, and fall but are discontinued in the winter due to weather conditions. During the May through October treatment season, these systems treat channel underdrain, Delta seep, adit, and pit underdrain flows. A bioreactor operates year-round to treat acid drainage from the Aspen Seep.

Burleson’s work includes

  • Inspection of water treatment activities at three treatment systems
  • Inspection of construction progress at a new treatment plant
  • Measurement of water quality parameters at 15 locations
  • Measurement of groundwater elevations at 10 locations
  • Preparation of weekly and annual oversight reports
  • Technical document review

Water Quality Monitoring

Burleson visits the Leviathan Mine biweekly and collects water quality measurements at up to 15 surface water monitoring stations. Water quality is monitored to support evaluation of the effectiveness of seasonal water treatment efforts at the site.

Burleson documents watershed conditions before treatment begins, during the treatment season, and after treatment ends each year. This information is combined with information collected by the Regional Water Quality Control Board—Lahontan Region (Regional Board) to evaluate compliance with water quality objectives and with macro-invertebrate data to evaluate impacts on biota.

Construction Monitoring

Burleson monitors ongoing construction to evaluate progress compared to designs, plans, and project schedules. Burleson communicates with representatives from the California Regional Water Quality Control Board to assess progress in water treatment at onsite ponds and Atlantic Richfield to assess progress in treating water from acid seeps.

Burleson observes site conditions compared to oral reports and project plans/designs and prepares weekly reports documenting observations, identifying deviations from plans/designs, and documenting resulting recommendations to improve progress.

BMP Assessment

Burleson inspects roads, water crossings, and storm water controls at the Leviathan Mine. Observations are made to assess the conditions of the access roads and their potential to impact project timelines. BMPs are evaluated to ensure their continued effectiveness and to identify improvements and/or need for maintenance to preserve their usefulness at protecting water quality.

Technical Support to EPA

Burleson also prepares work plans and data quality objectives and performs analysis of technical documents and assists EPA in preparing comments on the reports.

Client Satisfaction

"Burleson Consulting was excellent to work with and very professional. They assembled a top-notch team of experts to study and propose solutions to the water supply challenges at Sutter National Wildlife Refuge. The communication was excellent throughout the project. This included project staff, contracting personnel, and interested stakeholders. As a result, the project was completed on time and on budget. I would not hesitate to use or recommend Burleson Consulting in the future."Kevin Clancy, Project Manager – United States Bureau of Reclamation

"Burleson provided exceptional services under this contract. Because of their successful work, they were awarded a $7M follow-on IDIQ contract in 2014, that also encompasses biological monitoring at former Fort Ord. They have consistently improved their plant material collection and propagation techniques and pass the savings onto the federal government. Burleson is a valuable team member on Fort Ord and I feel that they are true stewards of the environment." William K. Collins, BRAC Environmental Coordinator, US Army Corps of Engineers

"Burleson has been able to work with several government agencies (to include tribal groups and natural resource trustees) and several responsible parties to assist in progressing this site to a stage where technical and agency concerns can be identified and resolved. Strengths – overall and in depth understanding of mine site and CERCLA dynamics. Deficiencies – none. I would not hesitate to use Burleson." Daniel McMindes, USACE Liaison to EPA, US Army Corps of Engineers

"Burleson helped to manage the Sacramento Area Voltage Support Environmental Impact Statement. They came through and were always available during an ‘energy crisis’ in California. I will continue to work with them."Loreen McMahon, Project Manager - California Public Utilities Commission

"We appreciated Burleson’s great work, re: completing the draft EIR on the scheduled date (it was a tremendous task, but they completed it). All of them put a lot of work into it (it was a true team effort). They should all be proud of this accomplishment given the changes and obstacles encountered along the way, and I cannot thank them enough."Glenn M. Shuder, AIA, CFM, Chief Architect - Project Director, SMUD

"We chose Burleson Consulting because of their experience with the specific project matter in technical and regulatory issues and for their record of excellent communication skills in complex, multiparty projects. They were responsive to the matter and were sensitive to all relationships between the parties involved."Kevin Mayer, PE, Project Manager - USEPA