News Release

For Release:  Aug. 5, 2008       
Contact:  Gary Sharpe (707) 468-4000 or Jeff Fontana (530) 252-5332
CA-N-08-81

BLM to Host Meeting on Rathburn-Petray Mine Cleanup

A public meeting to discuss cleanup at the Rathburn-Petray Mercury Mine site in western Colusa County will be held Tuesday, Aug. 26, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Colusa County Department of Agriculture Building, 100 Sunrise Blvd., near the Colusa Airport.
 
Representatives from the U. S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Ecology and Environment, Inc. will present information on mercury contamination at the mine site near Indian Valley Reservoir.  They will discuss engineering evaluations and cleanup cost analysis information, and accept public comments.
 
Gary Sharpe, assistant manager for the BLM Ukiah Field Office, said the engineering evaluation/cost analysis process is an important step toward determining a cleanup method.
 
The mine site is on 300 acres of BLM-managed public land east of Walker Ridge.  The most active mercury mining occurred from 1892 to 1893. Mining resumed or a more limited and sporadic scale in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
 
Waste rock at the site contains high levels of mercury which can be dangerous to humans.  There are also concerns about runoff and watershed contamination.
 
The BLM is working closely with the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, the

U. S. Geologic Survey and watershed interest groups to address mercury contamination issues.

-BLM-

Ukiah Field Office     2550 North State Street     Ukiah, CA  95482