Public Comments Sought on Public Health Assessment on Ely Copper Mine Site

Tuesday, March 04, 2008
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For Immediate Release: March 4, 2008

ATLANTA - The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) is seeking public comments on the public health assessment on Ely Copper Mine Site. The public health assessment found that the contaminated surface waters of Schoolhouse Brook and the Ompompanoosuc River, located downstream from the Ely Copper Mine Site pose no apparent public health hazard since the contaminated water is not used for drinking or irrigating crops.

The purpose of the public health assessment was to find out if people are being exposed to hazardous substances from the mine site and determine if the exposure might affect their health.

The report contains five major recommendations:

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or another agency should sample private wells because they have the potential to be impacted by contaminated groundwater or surface water from the site. ATSDR does not have groundwater data to evaluate if the mining site impacts groundwater.
  • Based on surface water results, ATSDR recommends sampling any private wells near Schoolhouse Brook downstream of the mine.
  • EPA should consider marking the entrance to the property and the mine with a "No Trespassing" sign to deter site access and protect the public's health from potential on-site hazards.
  • Additionally, a warning sign near vertical shafts or other potential hazards is recommended.
  • EPA or another agency should sample off-site soil to determine if it is contaminated from former smelter emissions.

Residents are encouraged to read the public health assessment and make comments during the month-long public comment period. A copy of the public health assessment is located at:

Vershire Town Clerk's Office
6894 Route 113
Vershire, VT 05079

ATSDR will accept comments on the public health assessment through April 3, 2008. Comments received during the public comment period will be logged in to the ATSDR administrative record for this public health assessment. Comments received, and ATSDR's responses to the comments, will appear in the final public health assessment. Comments on the public health consultation must be made in writing. Mail comments to:

Records Center, ATSDR
ATTN: Ely Copper Mine Site
1600 Clifton Road, N.E. MS F-09
Atlanta, GA 30333

For more information about the public health assessment, call Laura Frazier, Health Assessor, at 770-488-0721 or call 1-800-CDC-INFO.

ATSDR, a federal public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, evaluates the human health effects of exposure to hazardous substances.

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Page last reviewed: March 04, 2008