Restoration: Pennsylvania Mine cleanup to begin


From the Summit Daily News (Breeana Laughlin):

Cleanup work at one of Summit County’s most polluted landscapes will begin this month — more than a century after toxic metals were released from the Pennsylvania Mine site. The mine operated from the late 1880s into the early 1930s. It produced more than $3 million in silver, lead and zinc. But the mine exposed a source of toxic heavy metals that drain into Peru Creek, choking fish from the stream and sending pollutants into the Snake River.

Today, Peru Creek is devoid of aquatic life. The Snake River, which the creek drains into, supports a limited number of species only in its lower reaches.

Individuals and groups have recognized the mine as a tainted site and have been trying to address the problem since the late 1980s. But until now, little has been done to terminate the source of the pollution. “There have been several smaller mine cleanups in that basin with state and grant funding. But everyone has recognized that the major issue remains the Pennsylvania Mine,” said Brian Lorch, a county official overseeing open space and trails.

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