Abandoned Mine Lands

Abandoned Land Mines

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.

Mine History

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.

Water Quality

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.

Safety Closure

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

Abandoned Mine Lands Expertise

  • Mine Waste
  • Geochemistry of mine wastes
  • Mapping
  • Remediation
  • Risk evaluation
  • Technology evaluation
  • Waste characterization

  • Safety Closure
  • Bat gates
  • Custom
  • Foam plugs

Site Evaluation

  • Mine history evaluation
  • Site feature identification & mapping

Water Quality

  • Geochemistry of rock & mine drainage
  • Groundwater & surface water characterization
  • Reports of waste discharge
  • Stormwater management

Water Treatment

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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