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Superfund Program Implements the Recovery Act

Gilt Edge/Ruby Repository

Deadwood and Lead, South Dakota

Site Description
The 265-acre site is an abandoned mine located in the northern Black Hills of South Dakota, less than eight miles from the historic towns of Deadwood and Lead.  To address the site, EPA has divided it into several cleanup areas called operable units.  The Ruby Repository, operable unit 3, is approximately 65 acres and contains mine waste rock and spent ore that generates acid rock drainage (ARD), which is highly acidic water containing high concentrations of heavy metals.  The Ruby Repository is one of the site’s largest sources of ARD. 

Cleanup Activities to Date
EPA listed the site on the National Priorities List in 2000.  Beginning in 2001, EPA addressed the threat the Ruby Repository posed by reducing the volume of exposed contaminated materials, reducing water infiltration that produced large quantities of ARD, and containing waste materials.  EPA constructed a cap for the Repository by installing a monitoring system and drainage systems, and a synthetic liner and clean soil cover.  The community has been engaged through public meetings and through EPA’s funding of a Technical Assistance Grant.

Recovery Act Project Activity
EPA will use the $3.5 million in Recovery Act funds to grout unlined portions of the clean-water ditches and to repair/replace existing liners. The repair of these ditches will reduce the volume of ARD collected and treated at the water treatment plant. The Recovery Act funding at this site is expected to lead to a long-term cleanup completion of operable unit 3 and enable future funding to focus on the remaining site cleanup.

FY2011 highlights include:

  • Work was completed on 3,200 linear feet of ditch grouting and geocomposite liner repair to minimize surface water infiltration into and subsequent heavy-metal leaching from the Ruby Repository.
  • In addition, extensive concrete work was done in several ditches to complete grouting and erosion control work.
  • A pre-final inspection of the Ruby Repository ditch work was completed on September 19, 2011.

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