Preliminary Assessment Program for Mined Lands and Industrial Facilities
In February 2002, DEQ initiated a Preliminary Assessment and Site Inspection Program to evaluate and prioritize assessment of potentially contaminated sites. Idaho has more than 8,500 inactive and abandoned mines, mineral locations, and mineral discoveries. The state also has multiple abandoned or repurposed industrial facilities such as old landfills, repair and maintenance shops, dry cleaners and laundromats, rural airfields, railroad depots, and various manufacturers. Due to accessibility and funding considerations, priority is given to sites where potential contamination poses the most substantial threat to human health or the environment.
The Preliminary Assessment Program is implemented through a cooperative agreement between DEQ and EPA.
- Preliminary Assessment Program for Mined Lands and Industrial Facilities (brochure)
- Mined Lands and Industrial Facilities Preliminary Assessment Program Application
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The vast majority of sites assessed by DEQ do not warrant remedial action based on current uses. In the cases where DEQ finds that a substantial risk exists, one of several actions may occur.
- The current owner or responsible party may voluntarily act to abate or manage risks at the property, although no formal agreement to do so is entered into with the government.
- If there is a responsible party who is willing to work with DEQ to manage or abate associated risks, the property owner may enter DEQ’s Voluntary Cleanup Program and implement corrective action.
- If a public entity is willing to take ownership of the site and either abate or manage risks at the site, the property may be a candidate for DEQ's Brownfields Program.
- None of the property owners who have participated in the program are cleaning up sites due to regulatory action by DEQ; however, DEQ does have the regulatory obligation to address environmental threats and may instigate an administrative action by issuing the responsible party (owner/operator) a Notice of Violation (NOV) consistent with the Hazardous Waste Management Act (HWMA) or Environmental Protection and Health Act (EPHA). After issuing an NOV, DEQ will seek to alleviate the existing threat and may pursue penalties for violations of state law and cost recovery.
- In the event that no responsible party exists and there is an imminent and substantial threat to human health and/or the environment, DEQ's director may declare a state of emergency. This declaration would allow DEQ to use emergency response funding to hire remediation specialists to clean up the site. Emergency response funds are drawn from penalties imposed on responsible parties who have violated the HWMA.
- If state funding is unavailable, or the site falls under federal jurisdiction, the site may be placed on EPA National Priority List. EPA then leads the site cleanup effort.
If you would like to find out whether a site in your area poses a possible threat, or provide DEQ with information about a site that you suspect is contaminated, contact your nearest DEQ regional office or the staff contact listed on this web page.
Completed Preliminary Assessments by County
DEQ prepares preliminary assessment and site inspection reports of mine and industrial sites. DEQ's work at the sites listed below is in various stages of progress ranging from looking to acquire legal access to completiing preliminary assessment or site inspection report. Some of the sites listed below may also have links to engineering plans or construction completion reports for remedial action at the site. Final preliminary assessment or site inspection reports are usually completed by DEQ within 5 to 6 months after a site visit has been conducted.
Note: Listed sites are private properties. Do not enter without the owner's permission. If authorized, avoid contact with hazardous materials and respect the property's historical significance.
|Site Name||County||Assessment Type||Assessment Date||Document Links|
(aka Rebellion Lode, Nellie Extension Tunnel, Coleman Tunnel, Coleman Lode, Nellie Extension Lode, Cargill Mill Site, Alabama Mill Site, Hidden Treasure Mill Site, Justice Lode)
|Blaine||Mining||November 2010||Preliminary Assessment and Site Inspection Report|
|Red Cloud Mine|
(aka Red Cloud, Troy, Whale, Bay State, Regulator, and Vindicator patented mining claims)
|Blaine||Mining||February 2008||Preliminary Assessment Report|
|Red Elephant Mill Site||Blaine||Mining||March 2007||Preliminary Assessment Report|
|Red Elephant Mine|
(aka Augusta V, Belmont, Caledonia, Central, Henderson, O.K., Point Lookout, Sunol, Susie V Lode, Susie V, and Wilson patented mining claims)
|Blaine||Mining||December 2002||Preliminary Assessment Report|
Red Elephant Mine Addendum
|Red Ledge Mine||Adams||Mining||N/A||Water Quality Report for Deep Creek|
(aka Red Bird 2, 3, 4; Omaha; Green Bird; Harold; Black Cat; #2 Mill Sites)
|Custer||Mining||February 2004||Preliminary Assessment Report|
|Rescue Mine||Idaho||Mining||N/A||Rescue Mine Limited Subsurface Investigation|
(aka California, Scott Mine)
|Idaho||Mining||December 2012||Abbreviated Preliminary Assessment|
|Richmond Mill & Idahoan Mill||Blaine||Mining||December 2009||Abbreviated Preliminary Assessment|
|River Queen Mine|
(aka River Queen Patent, Little Queen Patent, Little Queen Group Lode Claim)
|Adams||Mining||June 2011||Abbreviated Preliminary Assessment|