In 1986, Umetco ceased mining operations, began reclamation activities and is currently working to restore the area. Umetco has been working in conjunction with the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) on its reclamation efforts for several decades. Umetco has spent over $40 million on reclamation since 1986.
Major reclamation efforts have included:
– Re-grading and reshaping land
– Reducing infiltration
– Cover land with soil and re-seed
– Re-route storm water runoff
– Treat the water
Umetco actively manages the ongoing reclamation activities at the former site. Below are some ongoing monitoring and maintenance activities occurring at the site.
– Routine water sampling
– Daily flow and pH checks
– Operation and maintenance of the pumping systems and water treatment
– Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan implementation with quarterly inspections
– Mowing, spot seeding and periodic sediment removal as needed
– Daily security checks at the site
Ecoregion mineral standards are a “one size fits all” approach to default standards and are based on the least disturbed streams in each region. The Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission frequently allows changes from the default standards to standards that are the most appropriate to specific sites.
Umetco has been working in conjunction with the ADEQ on its reclamation efforts for almost three decades, with the understanding that some level of mineral concentrations in Wilson Creek and Indian Spring Creek would need to be addressed through standards changes at the end of the reclamation process.
Specifically, Umetco conducted a Use Attainability Analysis (UAA) that evaluates the discharge of sulfates, chlorides and total dissolved solids in relationship to the existing ecosystem. ADEQ concluded the proposed site-specific mineral standards do not negatively affect water quality in Wilson Creek and is protective of current water-quality in Wilson Creek, Lake Catherina and the Ouachita River.
Umetco has spent over $40 million on reclamation since 1986. Reclamation efforts are ongoing and will continue and the company is committed to continuing to manage the site in a manner that is best for the environment and the needs of the community.
Umetco will provide updates with any major new developments regarding its reclamation efforts at the former mining site near Hot Springs, AR.
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