Proposing the  Flat Creek/Iron Mountain
                        Mine Site  For Superfund Cleanup
 Listing Process
   Health Risks
Opportunities to
   be Involved
Submitting Public
Project Contacts
With support from the local community (Town of Superior and Mineral County)
and the State of Montana, the U.S Environmental  Protection Agency (EPA) plans to
propose the Flat Creek/Iron Mountain Mine Site for the Superfund National Priori-
ties List (NPL).
EPA expects to propose the Flat Creek I MM site to the
NPL in spring 2009.

Placement on this List ("Listing") would make funds
available to clean up contaminated areas and protect
public health and the environment in and around the
Town of Superior, Montana.

Listing Process

Twice a year (usually every six months) EPA places sites
on the National Priorities List (NPL) or Superfund.
                  This fact sheet
               provides background
                information about
                Superfund Listing,
                what it means, and
                 how YOU can be
                 involved now —
                and in the future.

                 Please take a few
              minutes to look it over.
When a site is proposed to the National Priorities List (NPL) or Superfund, a public
notice and news release are sent to local papers announcing that it has been
proposed and can be found in the Federal Register.

There is a 60-day comment period for the public to review documents used in the
decision making process and comment on the proposed action.  During the public
comment period, comments can be submitted in the following ways:
ON-LINE: Go to
and follow the online instructions for
submitting comments using FDMS
Docket # EPA-HQ-SFUND-2008-0075
                    BY EMAIL: Email written comments referring to
                    FDMS Dockets EPA-HQ-SFUND-2009-0075, to:
BY REGULAR MAIL: Send written comments
referring to FDMS Docket # EPA-HQ-SFUND-
2009-0075, to:

Docket Coordinator, Headquarters
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
CERCLA Docket Office (Mail Code - 5305T)
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington D.C. 20460
(202) 566-0276
                    If there are no significant comments opposing listing, then the Flat Creek IMM site
                    could be officially added to the NPL this fall (2009).

                Areas of Contamination

                The Site contains multiple mine waste tailings piles
                outside of town found to have levels of arsenic, anti-
                mony, lead, and manganese that could pose long-term
                risks to public health and the environment. The full ex-
                tent of contamination has not been determined yet, and
                many of the tailings were directly deposited into and
                near Flat Creek. Some of the tailings were transported
                further from flooding after a forest fire in 2000. Water
                draining from the mine was also found to contain  highly
                elevated levels of arsenic, lead, and antimony above the
                drinking water standards (Maximum Contaminant Levels or MCLs).
                The Town of Superior in the past used a drinking water   j
                well (ground water) two miles downstream from the
                Iron Mountain Mine and Mill. That well is no longer in
                use because sampling showed levels of antimony above
                the drinking water standard (MCL). The water that is
                provided to residents  is safe and is regularly sampled to
                ensure it is within drinking water standards. A private
                well in the area also was found to contain elevated levels
                of antimony.
Seep at head of tailings pile in Hall Gulch at
     Iron Mountain Mine and Mill
 • _../,'
Base of tailings pile look back toward seep
          in Hall Gulch

                 Mine tailings were brought into town and used as fill, road base and driveway material over
                 40 years ago.  In town, contaminants of concern primarily consist of lead and arsenic.

                Brief Summary of Previous Investigations
                In 1993, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (formerly the Department of State
                Lands) conducted an abandoned mine investigation of the Iron Mountain Mine and Mill area.
                The investigation found elevated levels of lead, arsenic, copper, mercury, zinc, cadmium, man-
                ganese, and antimony.  In 2004 DEQ added the Iron Mountain Mine and Mill Site to its State
                Superfund List (CECRA).  Site boundaries  have not yet been determined.

                In 1998, the Town of Superior became concerned about
                the potential public health effects from the Iron Mountain
                Mine and Mill after a water sample from the Town's well
                two miles downstream of the Mine tested above the
                MCL for antimony.

                In 2001, because of State and local concerns DEQ asked
                US EPA to assess the Iron Mountain Mine  and Mill, Flat
                Creek, and Superior areas. EPA conducted some  prelimi-
                nary soil sampling in October 2001  at the  Iron Mountain
                Mine and Mill, along Flat Creek, and at three sites in Supe-
                rior where tailings from the Mill had been  used.
        Surface water drainage across top
          of tailings pile in Hall Gulch
                Based on these sampling results, EPA conducted a time-critical removal of mine tailings used as
                fill in town because of possible short-term health risks from heavy metal contamination of lead
                and  arsenic. The remediated areas included the high school track, portions of the county
                fairgrounds, and a few private driveways and roads in Superior. In 2003 USFS sampled along
                Flat  Creek and found high levels of metals.

                In 2007, US EPA conducted a re-assessment of the Iron Mountain Mine and Mill, Flat Creek,
                and  Superior areas to determine if residual contamination could pose long-term risks to public
                health and the environment.
                2007  Site Re-assessment

                Responding to State and Local con-
                cerns, EPA conducted a re-
                assessment of the Iron Mountain
                Mine, Flat Creek drainage, and the
                Town of Superior in early 2007.

                From this re-assessment, EPA
                determined that elevated levels of
                contaminants do exist in the
                following areas:
Iron Mountain Mine and Mill Site.
                •   Mine tailings and waste piles at the Iron Mountain Mine and Mill
                •   Along Flat Creek
                •   Mine tailings used as fill in several areas in Superior

                If you know/suspect you have tailings on your property, please contact EPA.
                                                                                        PAGE 3

               Health Risks
                       PUBLIC NOTICE
                      HEALTH ADVISORY
                          EPA's 2007 Investigation, the Preliminary Assessment,
                          found that areas in the Town of Superior, along Flat
                          Creek, as well as at the Iron Mountain Mine and Mill have
                          levels of lead and arsenic higher than typical EPA action
                          levels and higher than what EPA typically considers safe.
                          In addition, concentrations of arsenic, mercury, lead,
                          antimony, and zinc have been found at three times the
background (natural to the area) level at both the waste and tailings piles at the former
Iron Mountain Mine and Mill.  Antimony, arsenic, and lead are all naturally-occurring
elements, however, mining, milling, or other processing can concentrate these ele-
ments to a level where they pose a risk to public health.

Antimony —Breathing antimony over the long-term (longer than I year) can cause
eye and lung irritation.  It can  also cause heart and lung problems as well as stomach
pain, vomiting, and stomach ulcers. In large doses, antimony can cause vomiting.
It is not currently known if antimony causes cancer.

Arsenic — Breathing high levels of inorganic arsenic can give you a sore throat or
irritated lungs. Ingesting very high levels of arsenic can result in death. Exposure to
lower levels can cause nausea and vomiting, decreased production of red and white
blood cells, abnormal heart rhythm, damage to blood vessels, and a sensation of "pins
and needles" in hands and feet.  Ingesting or breathing low levels of inorganic arsenic
for a long time can cause a darkening of the skin and the appearance of small "corns"
or "warts" on the palms, soles, and torso.  Skin contact with inorganic arsenic may
cause redness and swelling. Inorganic arsenic is a known carcinogen.

Lead — The effects of lead are the
same whether it enters the body
through breathing or swallowing.
Lead can affect almost every organ
and system in your body. The main
target for lead toxicity is the nerv-
ous system, both in adults and chil-
dren. Long-term exposure of  adults
can result in decreased perform-
ance in some tests that measure
functions of the nervous system. It
may also cause weakness in fin-
gers, wrists, or ankles. Lead ex-
posure also causes small in-
creases in blood pressure, par-
ticularly in middle-aged and older people and can cause anemia. Exposure to high lead
levels can severely damage the brain and kidneys in adults or children and ultimately
cause death. In pregnant women, high levels of exposure to lead may cause miscarriage.
High level exposure in men can  damage the organs responsible for sperm production.
There is no conclusive evidence that lead can cause cancer in humans.
                                                 EPA contractors removing lead-contaminated soil along
                                                       Town street during 2002 Cleanup Action
                                                                                     PAGE 4

                Opportunities to be Involved

                Over the past several months, the EPA and DEQ have met with local officials and members of
                the public on a number of occasions in 2008:  April 21; June 18; July 14; July 31; October I 3;
                and October 27. During each of these meetings, EPA provided information and answered
                questions about the possible listing of the area on the National Priority List (NPL). The EPA
                has also been working closely with the US Forest Service who also attended a number of these
                meetings. Now that the Flat Creek I MM Site  is being proposed to the NPL — with support
                from the Town of Superior, Mineral County, and the State of Montana — there are additional
                opportunities for community members to stay informed and keep involved in Site activities.

                For more information about any the following opportunities, please call Diana Hammer, EPA,
                at 457-5040 or I -866-457-2690 during regular business hours.

                Public Meetings

                These will be held periodically throughout the cleanup.  The next public meeting is planned for
                after the close of the public comment period about the proposed NPL listing.  That meeting
                will likely occur in late May or early June 2009. The focus of that meeting will be to explain the
                plans for sampling properties in the Town of Superior.

                Community Interviews

                Early in the Superfund  process, EPA conducts interviews with community members and leaders
                to learn about residents' concerns, preferred  ways to communicate with the community, and
                residents' historical knowledge of the area — information which  may be useful in determining
                areas to be sure and sample for possible contamination. The interviews are confidential. Sum-
                marized information from the community interviews is used to develop a Community Involve-
                ment Plan. If you're interested in participating, please contact EPA.

                Community Advisory Group (CAG)

                During a Superfund cleanup,  some communities form and  participate  on a Community
                Advisory Group (CAG).  A CAG is made up of about 20 residents, representing different
                interests in the community. A CAG generally meets monthly or quarterly. During its
                meetings, CAG members receive cleanup updates from EPA, review and comment on docu-
                ments, and discuss any concerns or issues related to the cleanup.  CAG members talk to their
                friends and neighbors,  bringing information from this "network" to the CAG.  CAG members
                can help keep the community informed through its community network. If a CAG is  formed,
                EPA would offer to support the CAG with a meeting facilitator and by providing meeting space.
                Additional support may also  be available from EPA.  For more information about CAG, contact
                EPA or visit:
                Technical Assistance Grant (TAG)

                A Technical Assistance Grant is a $50,000 grant made available to a non-profit community
                group to hire an independent Technical Advisor(s) to help the community better understand,
                and thus, better participate in Superfund Site-related activities and decisions.  Only one TAG
                may be awarded per Superfund Site. If anyone is interested in applying or learning  more,
                please contact EPA or visit
                                                                                          PAGE 5

             Next Steps/Calendar

             Spring 2009 (Date TBD)
             Late Spring 2009
             Late Spring 2009
             Summer/Fall 2009
Flat Creek/I MM Proposed for NPL
Spring public meeting re: Sampling
Community Interviews
"Screening Level" Sampling
              Flat Creek Web Site (available after NPL proposal)


              Do you have questions?  Please contact us!

             US Environmental Protection Agency

                  Gwen Christiansen, NPL Coordinator
                  Toll-free: I -800-227-8917 x6463

                  Susan Mittelstadt, Project Manager

                  Diana Hammer, Community Involvement
                  (406) 457-5040
                  Toll-free: 1-866-457-2690

             Montana Department of Environmental Quality
                  Daryl Reed, Project Officer

             US Forest Service

                  Bob Wintergurst, OSC
                  (406) 329-3036

               Montana Department of

                 ENVIRONMENTAL QuALITY
                                                                      PAGE 6