Eagle River 'dramatically improved' after 11-year mine cleanup
Written byRANDY WYRICK, Vail Daily
Melissa MacDonald stands on a rock beside the Eagle River below Gilman and points out where water used to run in a more cappuccino-like hue and the rocks looked like someone painted them orange as a Halloween prank.
After many years of Eagle Mine cleanup — cleanup of contaminants such as arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead and zinc — the river is pretty healthy, she said.
“It's pretty good. It meets the existing standard for the river,” said MacDonald, executive director of the Eagle River Watershed Council. “We'd like a little higher standard, but currently they're doing a good job.” “They” are CBS, the media company, formerly Viacom. They acquired the Eagle Mine in the mid-1980s as part of some other deal. What they acquired was a Superfund site, designating the Eagle Mine as one of the nation's most polluted places.
Now, the cleanup, which was ordered by the Environmental Protection Agency, is complete. The developers who want to build the Battle Mountain private ski area said they are waiting for the EPA to give them the green light to build homes where that tailings pile used to be.VIEW ORIGINAL ARTICLE