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Sites in Reuse in South Dakota

Whitewood Creek
Site photo

The Whitewood Creek Superfund site covers an 18-mile stretch of Whitewood Creek in Lawrence, Meade and Butte Counties, South Dakota. About 83 percent of the site remains native woodlands. The rest of the property is in residential or agricultural use. Residents along Whitewood Creek have been raising livestock and crops for livestock feed on their lands for more than 40 years. Since the 1870s, area gold mining operations included the discharge of millions of tons of mine tailings to the creek. These mine tailings settled along the Whitewood Creek flood plain, resulting in contaminated soil, ground water and surface water. EPA added the site to the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1983. The potentially responsible party, Homestake Mining Company, cleaned up the site by removing and replacing 4,500 cubic yards of contaminated soil from 16 residential yards and disposing contaminated soils in a landfill constructed in an undeveloped part of the site. EPA deleted the site from the NPL in 1996. Butte, Meade and Lawrence Counties adopted ordinances that prohibit construction of new residential or commercial structures on the tailings deposits, restrict future development in tailings-impacted areas of the site, and prohibit removal and use of tailings outside the tailings areas. The creek serves as a water source for irrigation, watering livestock and recreation. Residents continue to raise livestock and crops on the site. The banks of the creek are now re-vegetated and portions of the site are able to support local reuse as ranchland.
Updated 2/2013

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