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Comment Period

Josephine Mill 1, Metaline Falls

Draft periodic review report

May 1, 2023 - May 31, 2023, 11:59 p.m.

We invite you to review and comment on the draft periodic review report, which includes the results of our site condition review to ensure cleanup is still protective.

In 2010–2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Stimson Lumber excavated, consolidated, and capped metals-contaminated soil from former mine and mill activities. An environmental covenant was filed in 2012. It prevents property uses and activities that might expose contaminated soil and notifies future property owners of remaining contamination.

We visited the site October 27, 2022, and found the cap and surface water drainage system were in good condition. The covenant remains in effect.

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Next steps

We will review all comments received during the comment period and will update the periodic review, if needed. If no significant changes are made, the periodic review will become final. If significant changes are made, we will hold an additional public comment period. We will hold an online public meeting if 10 or more people request one.​​

Site history and cleanup

The site is in Pend Oreille County, northwest of the town of Metaline Falls. The Josephine Mine was a cadmium, lead, silver, and zinc mine that operated from around 1909 to 1955. Josephine Mill 1 began operating about 1907, and was one of two mills supporting the mine. It closed around 1935 when milling operations moved to the newly constructed Josephine Mill 2.

Based on investigations EPA conducted from 2002–2008, an estimated 12,000 cubic yards of lead, zinc, and cadmium at levels requiring cleanup were in tailings and waste rock. This contaminated material was consolidated on a lined repository on the site and capped with a cover system designed to prevent rain and snow infiltration. Cleanup was completed in 2011. Public access is restricted by a locked gate and warning signs.

About periodic reviews

We complete a periodic review at least every five years after cleanup construction is complete at any site where institutional controls are part of the cleanup. The purpose of the review is to evaluate site conditions to ensure people and the environment are protected.

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Comment online

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Comment by mail

Sandra Treccani
4601 N. Monroe St.
Spokane, WA 99205
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Sandra Treccani
Site Manager

To request ADA accommodation, contact Ecology's ADA Coordinator by email at ecyadacoordinator@ecy.wa.gov, or call 360-407-6831, 711 (relay service), or 877-833-6341 (TTY). More about our accessibility services.