Biden admin announces new funding for cleanup in Nevada

Published: Feb. 10, 2023 at 11:58 AM PST
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WASHINGTON D.C., Virginia (KOLO) - The Environmental Protection Agency is sending a second wave of around $1 billion in funding for cleanup projects in Nevada.

The money comes from the Infrastructure Law and will fund cleanup at 22 Superfund sites, including the Carson River Mercury Site in Lyon and Story Counties.

The EPA says thousands of these sites exits around the nation, and that these cleanups help to decontaminate the area and provide jobs to the community.

“EPA continues to work hard at the Carson River site to address the legacy of contamination caused by 19th century mining. Our work is currently focused on ensuring that residents, especially young children, are protected from contamination in outdoor residential spaces,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman. “This new support from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will strengthen our efforts to keep these communities safe while helping preserve this area’s rich history.”

The Carson River Superfund Site comes from a mining operation that began over a century ago, where miners used mercury to process gold and silver ore. During their mining operations, the miners released an estimated 14 million pounds of mercury into the surrounding area.

Their activities also caused arsenic and lead contamination in some areas. The site became a priority for the EPA to clean in 1990.

Starting then, the EPA began removing cubic yards of contaminated soil at the Carson River site, disposing of it elsewhere, then backfilling it with clean soil.

Beginning in the early 2000′s, the EPA and the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection worked to sample residential areas, a process that has resulted in the removal or capping of contaminated soil.

Both the EPA and the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection say they will begin working with impacted communities to plan for additional sampling activities later in the year.

The first wave of cleanup funding also totaled more than $1 billion for cleanup activities at more than 100 Superfund sites nationwide.