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Central California District
Release Date: 06/10/10
Contacts: David Christy , 916-941-3146  
  Gary Sharpe , 707-468-4000  
News Release No. CA-CC-10-79

Public Meeting Planned on Draft Alternatives for Helen Mercury Mine Cleanup

The U. S. Bureau of Land Management will hold a public meeting on June 29 for review and comment on the draft final Engineering Evaluation and Cost Analysis (EE/CA), for the Helen mercury mine, located near Middletown in Lake County. The EE/CA will identify the BLM’s preferred alternative for the response actions to be taken at the site.

The meeting at Jesus Christ Fellowship, 21443 Pine Road, Middletown, will begin at 7 p.m. and is expected to last until 9 p.m.

“The meeting will give the public an opportunity to look at the problem of abandoned mercury mines and the alternatives available to reduce or eliminate those problems at these particular mines.  Participants in the meeting will hear a presentation about the site and alternatives available for remediation.  There will be opportunities to ask questions and provide written comments,” said Gary Sharpe, supervisory resources management specialist in the BLM Ukiah Field Office.

The Helen Mercury Mine is located in the Dry Creek Mining District southwest of Middletown. The Helen Mine was worked from 1874 to 1922 for mercury ore.   The mine site includes approximately 100 acres of BLM-administered public land.  Mercury-bearing material is exposed in cuts, slopes, open pits, mine retort waste and waste rock piles.

The BLM also announces the availability of the administrative record that contains all documents, including the draft EE/CA, that the BLM has used to support its decisions on appropriate response actions taken at the site so far.  The administrative record is available for review during normal business hours, Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the BLM’s Ukiah Field Office, 2550 N. State St., Ukiah. 

The BLM strongly encourages interested members of the public to comment, in writing, on the documents, especially the EE/CA, contained in the administrative record.  All comments must be received in writing on or before July 17 to be considered and responded to in the final EE/CA decision.  The comment period begins on June 18.

Comments can be provided at the public meeting, through the BLM’s website at, by email to, by fax to (707) 468-4027, or by mail to BLM Ukiah Field Office, 2550 N. State St., Ukiah, Calif., 95482.


Central California District   2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, CA 95825  

Last updated: 06-10-2010