U.S. EPA Contaminated Site Cleanup Information (CLU-IN)


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VOLUNTARY RECLAMATION AND REMEDIATION OF THE FORMER GARFIELD VANADIUM MINE SITE, RIFLE, COLORADO PART I: REMEDIAL INVESTIGATION, REMEDY SELECTION, AND RECLAMATION
Nielsen, B., C. Beul, J. Rusch, and L. Santisteban. | Technical Sessions: Smart Mining: Resources for a Connected World, 24-27 Feb 2019, Denver, Colorado. p 106 [plus Part II, p 107], 2019

The Garfield Mine is a legacy vanadium mine in western Colorado. The site's multiple mine openings, waste rock piles, and adit seepages were voluntarily remediated through the Colorado Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCUP). The remediation process involved performing the site investigation under the supervision of a licensed radioactive materials handler while working with VCUP and the state's Radiation Management Unit. The remedial action objectives (RAOs) under VCUP included preventing direct human or biotic exposure to the waste rock and radiation emitting from the waste rock and maintaining the existing undeveloped character of the surrounding landscape. The site-wide design involved regrading, installation of an infiltration barrier and rock cover, a diversion channel, and a biologically based passive remediation water treatment system. The full-scale biologically based system, operational since 2017, was chosen to reduce metal concentrations and radionuclides in adit seepage (sulfate, Se, Zn, U, Ra, and gross alpha and beta particles) and prevent discharge from the site. The system consists of a sulfate-reducing biochemical reactor and post-treatment aerobic polishing cells that provide year-round operation and zero discharge of effluent. After 12 years of site investigations, the remedial action was completed in 2016 and 2017 with all RAOs met and a no-further-action determination granted in 2018. See additional information in 85 PowerPoint slides at https://nma.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Garfield-NMA-presentation-6-3-18-FINAL-ls.pdf.



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