EPA seeks comment on Superior Superfund cleanup

Joshua Murdock

For decades, Superior residents, businesses and civic institutions used aggregate material from the nearby Iron Mountain mine and mill tailings to create lawn and garden paths, fill in lots, maintains roads and driveways, and even to surface the school’s running track. 

The material — a byproduct of nearly a half-century of mining by ASARCO that produced silver, gold, lead, copper and zinc — packed well, allowed water to drain, and was too dense for plants to grow up through. It was also highly toxic, laden with dangerous levels of lead, arsenic and antimony. In 2009 the federal government declared the town a Superfund cleanup site, clearing the way for greater funding and federal action to bolster the state and local soil-removal efforts in the town. A campaign to remove soil from affected properties and impound it at a storage site in Wood Gulch wrapped up in late 2013. The second component of the cleanup, removing tailings from along Flat Creek north of town and moving them to Wood Gulch, is ongoing. 

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And now, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wants to know how Superior

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