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BLM Seeks Public Comment on Red Devil Mine Cleanup

ANCHORAGE – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released a proposal to address contamination at the Red Devil Mine site on the middle Kuskokwim River.

The BLM’s Draft Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis (EE/CA) describes planned activities at Red Devil Mine, an abandoned mercury mine on the Kuskokwim River in western Alaska.  The BLM is planning to take action this spring to prevent mine tailings (waste rock left over from mining operations) from migrating into the Kuskokwim River. The tailings contain elevated concentrations of mercury, arsenic and antimony. The BLM developed four alternatives for preventing the tailings from further migrating, and invites public comment on the alternatives.

The EE/CA describing the proposed action is available for public review and comment through March 21, 2014.  The document is available at the project website (www.blm.gov/ak/red_devil_mine).

The BLM will host the following public meetings in communities in the middle and lower Kuskokwim during the comment period:

Yupit Piciryarait Cultural Center, Bethel - February 26, 6 p.m.

Red Devil DOT Building - March 4, 1 p.m.

Sleetmute Community Center - March 5, 1 p.m.

Chuathbaluk Tribal Office - March 6, 1 p.m.

Kalskag Multi-Purpose Building - March 12, 1 p.m.

Lower Kalskag Town Hall - March 13, 1 p.m.

Additional meetings will be announced on the project website and through local media.

After public comments are reviewed and considered, the BLM will develop an Action Memorandum, the decision document for the proposed action. Work on the mine tailings at Red Devil is scheduled to begin during the 2014 field season.

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