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Former Mercury Mine above Cottage Grove Reservoir Added to Federal Cleanup List

Release Date: 03/03/2010
Contact Information: Contact Information: Ken Marcy, EPA/Seattle (206) 463-1349, marcy.ken@epa.gov, Judy Smith, EPA/Portland (503) 326-6994, smith.judy@epa.gov

(Cottage Grove, Ore. - March 2, 2010) The former Black Butte Mine, near Cottage Grove, Ore. has been added to the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Priorities List. Today’s listing makes the site eligible to receive federal funds for long-term cleanup while EPA seeks to recover costs from the responsible parties.

"This Superfund listing provides a healthier future for local residents and everyone who eats fish from Cottage Grove Reservoir and the Coast Fork Willamette River,” said Dan Opalski, EPA Region 10 Superfund Director. “We look forward to getting the Black Butte Mine site cleaned up in collaboration with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and affected stakeholders.”

Mine waste at the abandoned Black Butte Mine site created a toxic legacy by leaching mercury, arsenic and other contaminants into creeks flowing into Cottage Grove Reservoir, a popular site for fishing, swimming and boating. Elevated mercury concentrations in reservoir fish have prompted fish consumption advisories in order to protect public health.

More information on the Superfund National Priorities List is available at: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/npl/current.htm

Background information on the Black Butte Mine site and other EPA documentation is available at: http://yosemite.epa.gov/R10/CLEANUP.NSF/sites/bbm