Hazardous Mill Tailings Remediation at Gray Eagle Mill
Francis McCormick (760) 367-5558
The purpose of this Action Memorandum (AM) is to request and document approval of and the basis for, the proposed time-critical removal action (TCRA) described herein for the Gray Eagle Mill Site (Site), located within Joshua Tree National Park, California, in accordance with the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, as amended, (CERCLA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 9601 et seq. The Site is the location of an inactive gold mill. This TCRA is necessary to reduce or eliminate unacceptable risks to human health and the environment at the Site due to the ongoing release and threatened release of hazardous substances (including arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, and vanadium) from the toxic mill tailings at the Site. The National Park Service (NPS) has determined that a TCRA is appropriate because Site conditions have deteriorated, making the response time sensitive. High-intensity flash floods at the Site have caused ongoing, exacerbated erosion and active transport of toxic mill tailings towards the downstream wash. NPS has determined there is a need to take prompt action that begins on-Site within six (6) months of the NPS decision to proceed with the action. As there are no potentially responsible parties, NPS will fund the action, with anticipated costs under $300,000 but certainly under $500,000. If this action is approved, on-Site work is anticipated to begin by May 2019. The NPS Pacific West Regional Director has the delegated CERCLA Section 104(a) response action authority for authorizing and undertaking a TCRA at the Site.