$50-Million Gilt Edge Superfund Cleanup Sought

Jan 22, 2015

The EPA is planning to spend an extra $50-million to reduce acid mine drainage at a former strip mine in the Northern Black Hills that is now a Superfund Site.

The Gilt Edge strip mine became an EPA Superfund site after the company operating the gold mine when bankrupt and abandoned the site.
Credit Amy Varland

South Dakota’s new U.S. Senator Mike Rounds is now chair of the Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Regulatory Oversight.

The committee oversees both the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers–the Subcommittee that Rounds chairs has oversight of federal programs like EPA Superfund sites.    

The Gilt Edge Mine in the Black Hills is an active Superfund site in South Dakota.  Rounds says it currently costs about $2-million per year to treat acid mine drainage at the abandoned strip mine.    

Senator Rounds says the proposed $50-million dollar project  is touted as a more long term fix.     

“What they’re saying is they would like to, because rather than having in expedited or having a problem with the water that is there now they would like to get in there now.  They think it saves money in the long run by cleaning it up now,” says Rounds.  

Rounds says EPA officials are working in conjunction with the State Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Rounds says about $30-million of the project costs are being picked up former mining companies, the rest comes from federal and state dollars.