BLM announces decision on Red Devil Mine Remediation Plan

Today (Jan. 31st, 2024), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced a signed Record of Decision for its remediation plan to address remaining contamination at the abandoned Red Devil Mine, an historical mercury mine site located along the Kuskokwim River in southwest Alaska.

The approved plan was developed in accordance with the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and marks a major step forward in this process to protect the public health and welfare and the environment from hazardous substances at the abandoned mine.

This decision marks the culmination of years of data collection, analysis and evaluation of multiple cleanup options in order to identify the most feasible course of action to address remaining contamination at the site. The BLM reached this decision after a careful analysis in close coordination with the EPA and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.

Community engagement has been a critical part of this process, with BLM engaging with Kuskokwim River communities, Tribes, and Alaska Native Corporations throughout this effort. BLM also sought public input on the proposed remediation plan through a series of public meetings in 2020.

“This signed decision on Red Devil Mine marks a major step forward for addressing contamination at this site,” said BLM Alaska State Director Steve Cohn. “We look forward to working with Tribes, Alaska Native Corporations, the State, and others to implement this plan to the benefit of the lands and communities.”

With this remediation plan approved, BLM will pursue funding to implement the actions outlined in the decision. The pace of the plan’s implementation will depend upon funding received. Following completion of the remedial action, BLM will conduct long-term monitoring of the repository and the groundwater and lower Red Devil Creek to ensure continued project performance.

More information on BLM’s efforts to address contaminants at the Red Devil Mine can be found on the project website.

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