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.
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.
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.