Preliminary Assessment Program for Mined Lands and Industrial Facilities
In February 2002, DEQ initiated a Preliminary Assessment and Site Inspection Program to evaluate and prioritize assessment of potentially contaminated sites. Idaho has more than 8,500 inactive and abandoned mines, mineral locations, and mineral discoveries. The state also has multiple abandoned or repurposed industrial facilities such as old landfills, repair and maintenance shops, dry cleaners and laundromats, rural airfields, railroad depots, and various manufacturers. Due to accessibility and funding considerations, priority is given to sites where potential contamination poses the most substantial threat to human health or the environment.
The Preliminary Assessment Program is implemented through a cooperative agreement between DEQ and EPA.
- Preliminary Assessment Program for Mined Lands and Industrial Facilities (brochure)
- Mined Lands and Industrial Facilities Preliminary Assessment Program Application
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The vast majority of sites assessed by DEQ do not warrant remedial action based on current uses. In the cases where DEQ finds that a substantial risk exists, one of several actions may occur.
- The current owner or responsible party may voluntarily act to abate or manage risks at the property, although no formal agreement to do so is entered into with the government.
- If there is a responsible party who is willing to work with DEQ to manage or abate associated risks, the property owner may enter DEQ’s Voluntary Cleanup Program and implement corrective action.
- If a public entity is willing to take ownership of the site and either abate or manage risks at the site, the property may be a candidate for DEQ's Brownfields Program.
- None of the property owners who have participated in the program are cleaning up sites due to regulatory action by DEQ; however, DEQ does have the regulatory obligation to address environmental threats and may instigate an administrative action by issuing the responsible party (owner/operator) a Notice of Violation (NOV) consistent with the Hazardous Waste Management Act (HWMA) or Environmental Protection and Health Act (EPHA). After issuing an NOV, DEQ will seek to alleviate the existing threat and may pursue penalties for violations of state law and cost recovery.
- In the event that no responsible party exists and there is an imminent and substantial threat to human health and/or the environment, DEQ's director may declare a state of emergency. This declaration would allow DEQ to use emergency response funding to hire remediation specialists to clean up the site. Emergency response funds are drawn from penalties imposed on responsible parties who have violated the HWMA.
- If state funding is unavailable, or the site falls under federal jurisdiction, the site may be placed on EPA National Priority List. EPA then leads the site cleanup effort.
If you would like to find out whether a site in your area poses a possible threat, or provide DEQ with information about a site that you suspect is contaminated, contact your nearest DEQ regional office or the staff contact listed on this web page.
Completed Preliminary Assessments by County
DEQ prepares preliminary assessment and site inspection reports of mine and industrial sites. DEQ's work at the sites listed below is in various stages of progress ranging from looking to acquire legal access to completiing preliminary assessment or site inspection report. Some of the sites listed below may also have links to engineering plans or construction completion reports for remedial action at the site. Final preliminary assessment or site inspection reports are usually completed by DEQ within 5 to 6 months after a site visit has been conducted.
Note: Listed sites are private properties. Do not enter without the owner's permission. If authorized, avoid contact with hazardous materials and respect the property's historical significance.
|Site Name||County||Assessment Type||Assessment Date||Document Links|
|Sawtooth MMW Property Dump Area|
(aka Henslee Ranch Subdivision Lot 2)
|Blaine||Industrial||December 2015||Abbreviated Preliminary Assessment|
(aka Sheelite Mine, Shealite Mine, Sacramento No. 2 Lode)
|Idaho||Mining||March 2012||Abbreviated Preliminary Assessment|
(aka Providence Group, Montana Mine)
|Custer||Mining||October 1999||Preliminary Assessment Report|
|Sheep Creek Placers|
(aka Sheep Creek, Glen, Morningstar, Jupiter, Neptune, Venus, Jubilee)
|Idaho||Mining||February 2011||Preliminary Assessment and Site Inspection Report|
|Shiloh and Shamrock Patented Mining Claims||Latah||Mining||October 2010||Abbreviated Preliminary Assessment|
|Silver Dollar Extension Patented Claim|
(aka Pittsburgh-Idaho Group)
|Lemhi||Mining||August 2010||Abbreviated Preliminary Assessment|
|Silver Dollar Mine|
(aka Pittsburgh-Idaho Group, Silver Dollar Shaft, Silver Dollar Tunnel)
|Lemhi||Mining||N/A - Access to site denied.||Silver Dollar Mine Maps & Photos|
|Silver King Mine||Idaho||Mining||November 2015||Abbreviated Preliminary Assessment|
|Idaho||Mining||November 2015||Abbreviated Preliminary Assessment|
|Silver Moon Mine|
(aka Silver Moon Group, Mohawk; also see Calumet, Hecla, and Isabel patented claims)
|Lemhi||Mining||June 2011||Preliminary Assessment and Site Inspection Report|