Burleson has extensive experience performing environmental characterization and remediation at abandoned mine lands. We have conducted projects under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the California Water Code provisions. We have specialized experience in addressing the unique regulatory and technical issues encountered at abandoned mine lands.
Burleson staff has researched the history and development of ore deposits at specific mine sites to better document site features and support identification of the next steps necessary to meet client objectives. After the site history is understood, the site is inspected and mapped to identify potential areas that could contain mine wastes and chemicals posing a threat to human health or the environment. Samples are then collected to assess mine related features, background chemistry, potential site risks, water quality threats, and remediation strategies.
Abandoned Mine Lands Site Investigation
Burleson’s strategy is to develop a conceptual site model (CSM) and then data quality objectives (DQO) to ensure that the information necessary to meet client objectives is collected. The strategy is reevaluated as new information becomes available.
Burleson staff has used CSM and DQO tools at complex abandoned mine sites to design investigations that resulted in the information needed to remediate the site. Burleson staff has evaluated groundwater and mine waste geochemical characteristics to differentiate site related and background impacts which provided significant constraints on-site management strategies.
Burleson staff has negotiated acceptance of a mixing zone with California Regional Water Quality Control Board staff at the point of discharge of mine drainage to the receiving waters.
Mercury and Arsenic Associated with Mines
Burleson staff has significant experience assessing and remediating mercury mines in the California Coast Ranges and hydraulic gold mines in the Sierra Nevada Foothills.
At the Helen Mine near Middletown, California, Burleson compiled chemical, biological, and cultural information and completed a Removal Site Investigation for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
At the Empire Mine State Historic Park, Burleson scientists completed stormwater monitoring reports and conducted biological and archeological monitoring of construction activities to remediate the Red Dirt pile. In cooperation with DTSC and CalParks, Burleson staff developed the approach to assessing risk due to arsenic in surface soil.
Within the Mojave Preserve, Burleson has closed 34 mine openings while preserving historical values. Closures include vertical bat gates, wire grates, and foam plugs depending on whether bats are present. Site-specific designs are used to preserve significant cultural features.
Burleson combines practical characterization and assessment skills with restoration experience to provide our clients with turnkey AML services.
Our comprehensive approach and extensive experience remediating environmental contamination make us an ideal firm to solve your environmental problems.
Representative Abandoned Mine Lands Projects
Bureau of Land Management
- Helen Mercury Mine Removal Site Investigation
- Longfellow Mill Site EE/CA & Human Health & Ecological Risk Assessment
- Corona/Twin Peaks Mine, Napa County
Department of Parks & Recreation
- Empire Mine Historic Park Environmental Services
- Homestake Mining Company
National Park Service
- Mojave National Preserve PSI 139 Abandoned Mine Site Reclamation & Restoration
- Mojave National Preserve Standard Mine District Mine Safety Closures
US Army Corps of Engineers
- Leviathan Mine Superfund Site Technical Support
US Forest Service
- Lower Brush Creek Gold Mine Data Acquisition & Treatability Studies