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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Holden Mine Cleanup update

Norman Day, the the Holden Mine Remedial Project Manager for the USFS in Wenatchee, wrote recently that the current proposal by Intalco (the mining company currently held responsible) known as Alternative 13M will be released when the full Proposed Cleanup Plan is released, in "early 2010." When it's released, the public will only have 30-60 days of open comment period, during which time 4 public meetings will be held, Day said. He referred to the USFS website on the cleanup, but admitted it hadn't been updated since this summer.

  • We will announce the release of the Proposed Cleanup Plan when it comes out, so you can begin making formal comments. Until then, see the end of this post for the address to send your letters to now.

<< Aerial view of the Holden Mine tailings, deep within an enclave of Glacier Peak Wilderness near Lake Chelan, during the last years of the mine's operation in the late 50s. All of these tailings remain today, leaching toxics.

Meanwhile, maps of Alt 13M's plans for the Holden Village vicinity are being handed-out at open presentations at Holden Village, whose representatives continue to actively negotiate with Italco and the Agencies with the stated goal of achieving the best outcome for Holden Village, including infrastructure improvements and reduced "down-time" for the religious/resort operation. The map shows 13M plans to re-route the creek, which would involve cutting down some old trees in the riparian zone.

We would encourage you to write to Mr. Day and express your concern that he, acting on behalf of the general public, exercise due diligence to see to it that the best environmental outcome is achieved.

Write to:
Norman F. Day
Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
215 Melody Lane
Wenatchee, WA 98801
Or call:
Holden Village has their own site about the mine cleanup. Go there and listen to Norm Day make a presentation to Holden about the remediation plan last summer. He says more here than in his official correspondence, and gives you a feeling for Holden's priorities.

See article "The Holden Mine Cleanup Problem" published in the Spring '09 issue of The Wild Cascades for further background on this issue.

[Image above from David Brower's film "Wilderness Alps of Stehekin" ca. 1957]

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