Southeast Idaho Mines
Southeast Idaho is a major phosphate-producing region, and phosphate mining has been an important industry here since the mid 20th century. In Caribou and adjacent counties, phosphate mining has left behind waste rock dumps and open pits from which selenium and other contaminants may be released. Past studies – including mining company investigations, area-wide investigations, mine-specific studies and others – have identified these waste rock dumps as sources of contamination that may pose a risk to human health and/or the environment. These contaminants are known or suspected to be present in groundwater, surface water, sediment, soils and plants and may be transported beyond the former mining areas.
The U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in cooperation with federal, state, and Tribal agencies, propose to work with the community on a Remedial Investigation/ Feasibility Study (RI/FS) and subsequent cleanup (or Remedial Action) at three mine sites: the Ballard, Enoch Valley and Henry Mine Sites, or P4 Mines. The RI/FS and cleanup will be done under the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA). The EPA is the lead agency for this effort with the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes participating as support agencies.
EPA Press Releases about P4 Mines