Abandoned Mine Lands - Environmental Hazards

Historical mining left contaminated toxic materials that have impacted water, soil, and environment. For example:

  • Contaminated mine tailings
  • Toxic materials from mine processing
  • Hazardous Waste

Toxic contaminants in the environment have resulted in the following: 

  • Arsenic, mercury, acid mined rock, and heavy metals left on public lands from mining
  • Risk to humans and biota
  • Contaminated rivers, creeks and reservoirs.

Toxic contaminants pollute not only the environment, but also the food chain. For example, fish that are found in pit lakes, drains, polluted rivers, creeks and reservoirs, are affected by mercury release from AML sites.

Environmental mitigation consists of the following steps:


  • Analyze samples to support remedy selection and cost recovery
  • Defining nature and extend of threat
  • Evaluating data


  • Environmental and public health


  • Cost
  • Funding
  • Community relations


  • Analysis of appropriateness of removal action
  • Site inspections and testing                                                                          

California follows the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability procedures as part of mitigating for the environment.                               

Abandoned Mine Lands


     AML Projects

     Safety and Education



     AML Publications

     AML Contact

Cactus Mine tailings on alluvial fan surface
Cactus Mine tailings and alluvial fan surface with cactus mine in the background.

Tropico Mill Tailings
Tropico Mill Tailings.