Office of External Affairs
Mountain-Prairie Region

NEWS RELEASE

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Mountain-Prairie Region
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228

April 29, 2011 

Contacts: John Isanhart 801-975-3330

                Diane Katzenberger 303-236-4578

 

United Park City Mines Corporation Recognized for Environmental Cleanup

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) recently presented an award to the United Park City Mines (UPCM) Company for its efforts in accomplishing significant environmental cleanup at the Richardson Flat Tailings Site near Park City, Utah.

 

The Service has been working with UPCM through the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration (NRDAR) processes.

 

CERCLA, commonly known as Superfund, provides broad Federal authority to respond directly to releases or potential releases of hazardous substances that may endanger public health or the environment. Among many of its functions, Superfund allows the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to clean up contaminated sites and to compel responsible parties to perform clean-ups or reimburse the government for EPA-led cleanups. 

 

In the case of Richardson Flat Tailings Site, the responsible party, UPCM, took the lead on the clean-up with oversight from EPA.  Major remediation and restoration activities began at Richardson Flat in late 2007 and will be completed within the next year.  These activities have reduced the human health and ecological risk to levels below concern.

 

“We commend United Park City Mines for their outstanding contributions to this cleanup effort,” said Pam Repp, Chief of Energy, Water, and Climate for the Service’s Mountain-Prairie Region. “This is the first time the Service has honored a responsible party for their collaboration and successful restoration of a site. The cleanup of Richardson Flat will restore the site’s natural resources through wetland restoration projects that will increase wildlife habitat value and opportunities for human recreational use, such as bird watching.”

 

Common wildlife at Richardson Flat includes ducks, geese, shorebirds, cranes, egrets, herons, songbirds, frogs, and small mammals.

 

Richardson Flat is a historical mining site that consists of a tailings dam and impoundment that were used to capture and hold mill tailings from the Ontario Mine near Park City. The Site sits on approximately 600 acres two miles northeast of Park City, Utah.  Contaminants at the Site include heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, silver, and zinc.  The Site is located adjacent to Silver Creek, which is a cold-water fishery and provides habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife, at the south end of a six mile long valley. The primary concerns at the Site were effects to surface water and groundwater quality in the area, and the potential for people and wildlife to come into direct contact with the tailings or contaminated soils.

 

In recognition of the company’s accomplishments, a plaque was presented to Kerry Gee, Vice President of UPCM, at the Department of Interior NRDAR Workshop in Phoenix, Arizona, on March 30, 2011.

 

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

-FWS-