Anaconda - What’s happening at the Site?

BOTTLED WATER CESSATION CRITERIA

  1. Is the residence currently connected to a municipal, community, or tribal water system and is the system operational?  If the answer is yes, then bottled water service can be discontinued.

  2. Does the residence currently have access to the above-mentioned water systems, but is not currently connected, and is the domestic well within the currently identified plume boundary? If the answer is yes, offer to connect the resident to the water system and discontinue bottled water service.  If access to municipal water is available, but the homeowner refuses to connect, they will no longer be eligible for bottled water service.

  3. Is the domestic well within the currently identified plume boundary, but does not have access to the above-mentioned water systems AND water from the domestic well has been demonstrated to have total uranium levels greater than 25 μg/L (equivalent to parts per billion).  If the answer is yes, continue bottled water service.

  4. If the resident is not connected to or does not have access to the available water systems, but is located outside the currently identified plume boundary, then bottled water service will be discontinued.

Bottled Water Program Fact Sheet

Below is a brief overview of what is currently planned to happen at the Anaconda Copper Mine Site (ACMS) over the next three months. Following that, are highlights of what has been accomplished at the site over the past three months.

If you would like to see additional information added to this page or have any other suggestions, please email the NDEP ACMS team at acms[at]ndep.nv.gov.

This page was last updated: June 3, 2020.

What will be happening in the next three months:

June:

A Technical Working Group Meeting for Operable Unit (OU)-7 (Wabuska Drain) for agencies and stakeholders is scheduled (due to COVID-19 restrictions, it will be held as a virtual meeting via screen shares). During this meeting, NDEP, Atlantic Richfield Company (ARC), EPA and stakeholders will discuss issues and questions regarding the ACMS, Walker River/Weber Reservoir, and YPT Remedial Investigation (RI) and HHRA/SLERA reports and identify potential next steps for the ACMS OU-7, and Tribal Reservation areas down-gradient of the ACMS. 

ARC submitted the updated quarterly project schedule.

ARC is scheduled to submit the Draft OU-1 (Groundwater) Human Health Risk Assessment (HHRA) and Screening Level Ecological Risk Assessment (SLERA) Work Plan (WP). The WP describes the evaluations necessary to properly characterize the risk to human health and the environment associated with groundwater. A 45-day stakeholder review period will follow the submittal. After the review period, NDEP will collate stakeholder and internal comments and provide direction to ARC on how to finalize the Report. ARC is required to address the comments and direction before the Final RI Report will be approved.

ARC is scheduled to submit the Final OU-7 RI Report. The RI Report describes the nature and extent of contamination in the Wabuska Drain. NDEP provided comments to ARC on the Draft RI Report, and direction on how to finalize the Report. ARC is required to address the comments and direction before the Final RI Report will be approved.

July:

ARC is scheduled to submit the Draft OU-2 (Pit Lake) RI Report. This report characterizes the nature and extent of potential contamination from this OU. A 45-day stakeholder review period will follow the submittal. After the review period, NDEP will collate stakeholder and internal comments and provide direction to ARC on how to finalize the Report. ARC is required to address the comments and direction before the Final RI Report will be approved.

ARC is scheduled to submit the Final OU-7 HHRA/ SLERA WP. The WP describes the evaluations necessary to properly characterize the risk to human health and the environment associated with the OU. A 45-day stakeholder review period will follow the submittal. After the review period, NDEP will collate stakeholder and internal comments and provide direction to ARC on how to finalize the Report. ARC is required to address the comments and direction before the Final RI Report will be approved.

August:

ARC is scheduled to submit the Final OU-2 (Pit Lake) HHRA/ SLERA WP. The WP details the forthcoming risk assessment evaluations associated with the OU.

ARC is scheduled to submit the Draft RI Report for OU-4b (Evaporation Ponds), OU-5 (Waste Rock Areas), and OU-6 (Oxide Tailings). This report will describe the nature and extent of potential contamination from and in these OUs. This document is considered a major document. A 45-day stakeholder review period will follow the submittal. After the review period, NDEP will collate stakeholder and internal comments and provide direction to ARC on how to finalize the Report. ARC is required to address the comments and direction before the Final RI Report will be approved.

What was accomplished in the previous three months:

May:

5/14: After a thorough review, NDEP approved the Final OU-1 (Groundwater) RI Report. This report described the nature and extent of groundwater contamination from the ACMS and other sources. The report combines 15 years of scientific data and underwent technical review by NDEP, BLM, Federally Recognized Tribes, and stakeholders. The Report and Approval Letter can be found on the NDEP Anaconda SharePoint Site.

5/29: ARC submitted the Final Groundwater Monitoring Optimization Tech Memo (TM) to NDEP. ARC was required to address the NDEP comments and direction before the Final TM was approved.

Construction Update- ARC has completed Fluid Management System (FMS) upgrade remedial activities including the construction and lining of five new evaporation ponds for the containment of heap leach pad (HLP) drain-down fluids. The second phase of remedial action, encompassing the re-grading and capping of HLPs, begins in August 2020.

Picture of Ponds D and E completed. They are double-lined with HDPE liners and have a leak detection system.
Picture of Ponds D and E completed. They are double-lined with HDPE liners and have a leak detection system. 
The large pond in the foreground is the existing Phase IV Slot Pond. The small pond in the middle is the recently completed and commissioned Slot Sediment Pond, and the empty lined pond in the upper right is the new Slot 3 Pond. The Slot Sediment Pond and Slot 3 Pond will become part of the new FMS once fluids are transferred from the current FMS.
The large pond in the foreground is the existing Phase IV Slot Pond. The small pond in the middle is the recently completed and commissioned Slot Sediment Pond, and the empty lined pond in the upper right is the new Slot 3 Pond. The Slot Sediment Pond and Slot 3 Pond will become part of the new FMS once fluids are transferred from the current FMS.

April:

04/08: ARC submitted the Draft OU-7 HHRA/SLERA WP. The WP details the forthcoming risk assessment evaluations associated with the OU. This was considered a major document for review, and stakeholder comments were submitted to NDEP on or before May 26, 2020.

04/09: ARC submitted the Final OU-8 Peripheral Areas Combined Remedial Investigation, Risk Characterization, and Feasibility Report. This report details investigations of areas directly adjacent to OU-8 that are necessary to properly safely and effectively implement the remedies outlined in ROD 1. The ROD 1A areas are small areas that are adjacent to ROD 1 and are part of the heap leach pad (HLP) regrading and capping closure plans essential for effective closure of the HLPs.

4/10: ARC submitted the Final Record of Decision (ROD) 1 HLP Regrading and Capping Engineering Design Report. This report details the engineering designs for closure of the HLPs located within ROD 1 (OU- 8). The designs are stamped by a Nevada licensed Professional Engineer.

4/14: ARC submitted the Final OU-1 RI Report after receiving comments and conditions from NDEP specifying the necessary revisions for NDEP to be able to approve the Final RI Report. The Final RI Report was thoroughly reviewed to ensure all required revisions were made.

04/30: ARC submitted the 2019 Annual Groundwater and Domestic Well Monitoring Reports. The reports detail the results of the quarterly well sampling efforts by ARC.

March:

03/16: ARC submitted the Final HHRA for OU-3 (Process Area). This report details the human health risks from the OU. The Final Report was reviewed to ensure ARC addressed the NDEP collated comments and direction.

03/18: NDEP provided conditions to ARC in order to Finalize the OU-1 RI Report. The Final RI Report could only be approved after the conditions were properly addressed.

03/18: ARC submitted the Final OU-4a HHRA and SLERA WP. The Final WP was reviewed to ensure that ARC addressed NDEP collated comments and direction.

03/19: ARC submitted the Final OU-3 SLERA Report. This report details the risks to the environment from the OU. The Final Report was reviewed to ensure that ARC addressed NDEP collated comments and direction.

Constructed Record of Decision (ROD) 1 ponds were completed and lined in February, March and April.

Picture of workers placing the HDPE lining in Pond E
Placing the HDPE lining in Pond E.



 

Picture of Pond E mostly lined with HDEP liner
Pond E mostly lined with HDPE liner.


 

Picture of workers Putting the final touches on the construction of the Burch Drive FMS pond
Putting the final touches on the construction of the Burch Drive FMS pond.

 

ACMS Schedule 

Chart depicting the Anaconda 12-Year Closure Schedule
Click on schedule to enlarge

 

Map of Closure Phases

 

Map of Closure Phases

 

Closure Schedule

 

 

Closure Schedule

 

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