Posts Tagged ‘bear butte creek’

From Talli Nauman, Native Sun News health and environment editor

LEAD — A little more than a century after gold discovery sparked the violation of Sioux treaty rights to the Black Hills, the precious metal is still causing violations – now of health and environmental protections.
Runoff pollution from the 260-acre Gilt Edge Mine Site, located five miles southeast of Lead, exceeds water quality standards for temperature, suspended solids, and nitrates, according to a December 2010 update on the EPA’s five-year review of the site.
The runoff flows into Strawberry Creek and Bear Butte Creek, which are part of the lower Belle Fourche watershed, a fish breeding habitat and contributor to domestic drinking supplies.

A decade ago the federal government placed the Gilt Edge Mine on the National Priority List for cleanup of toxic waste, declaring it a Superfund Site. The hazardous heavy metals at the site are the target of the cleanup. They include arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, selenium, thallium and zinc.

The update notes that regulators are following a recommendation from the 2007 review, which calls for them to “continue monitoring”.
However, they say they cannot follow another recommendation to use a more sensitive detection method for cyanide monitoring because “no analytical technique for site water is available that provides a lower detection limit.”

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