U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
For Release: April 5, 2007
Contact: Steve Razo (951) 697-5217; cell (951) 316-5996 or Jan Bedrosian (916) 978-4616
Arsenic Remediation Project Progresses at Red Mountain
Progress is being made to remediate the impacts of arsenic contamination from historical mining operations on the public lands near Randsburg and Johannesburg in northwestern San Bernardino and northeastern Kern County, according to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
BLM Desert District Manager Steve Borchard said since the problem of high arsenic levels was detected onsite, BLM has taken significant steps to reduce impacts, provide the public health advisories, and plan for long-term remediation projects on the site of the Kelly Mine site and adjacent public lands.
Removal of waste piles from near residences, posting signs reminding off-highway vehicle (OHV) riders to stay on designated routes, covering mineshafts, and planning for a detailed human health risk assessment in cooperation with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry are among the accomplishments to date, he said.
Borchard said the next step is to identify a safe alternative for OHV access into Randsburg by relocating a portion of Route 110. “We are conducting the necessary surveys now for rerouting this critical access so the public can travel into Randsburg, a popular historic mining town, while minimizing dust from the old arsenic mine tailings,” Borchard said. “We hope to have that work done so we can start the reroute work in May.”
Borchard also reinforced the importance of OHV riders staying on designated routes and obeying signs onsite for that purpose. “This is important for both health and environmental reasons” he said, and stressed that BLM rangers will enforce these restrictions. “We hope the public will continue to cooperate as we near the end of this recreation use season.”
BLM held open houses for the public in May and October of 2006 and more will be held as significant developments occur. He advised the public to continue to follow health advisories for arsenic contamination published by ATSDR and available online. More information is available from the BLM’s Ridgecrest Field Office, 300 South Richmond Road, Ridgecrest, CA 93555, telephone (760) 384-5400 or online at www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/ridgecrest/red_mountain.html