Protecting Public Health and the Environment.

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.

Remediation Options

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.

Contact Us

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.

Records 51 to 60 of 297
Site NameCountyAssessment TypeAssessment DateDocument Links
Center Star Mine
IdahoMiningMarch 2012Abbreviated Preliminary Assessment
Chicago (L&M) Mine
(aka Chicago L&M; aka Bellevue King)
BlaineMiningNovember 2007Preliminary Assessment Report
Cinnabar Mine
(aka Cinnabar Group, Hermes, Pretty Maid, Annie Sell, Vermillion, Vermillion Ext. No. 1, Golden Gate No. 4)
ValleyMining N/A Cinnabar Mine Removal Report North Tailings Impoundment
Clayton Slag Pile
CusterMiningJanuary 2014Preliminary Assessment and Site Inspection Report
Cleveland Mine
BoiseMiningJanuary 2008Abbreviated Preliminary Assessment
Cloverleaf Mine
BoiseMiningJanuary 2008Preliminary Assessment Report
Coleman Tunnel
(aka Coleman Lode, Rebellion Tunnel, Rebellion Lode, Nellie Extension Lode, Nellie Extension Tunnel, Cargill Mill Site, Alabama Mill Site, Hidden Treasure Mill Site, Justice Lode)
BlaineMiningNovember 2010Preliminary Assessment and Site Inspection Report
Columbia Mill
LemhiMiningDecember 2002Preliminary Assessment Report
Commodore Mine
BlaineMiningJune 2009Abbreviated Preliminary Assessment
Comstock Mine
(aka Idaho-Comstock, Independence, Dixie Comstock, Idaho Comstock, Comstock Independence, Seattle and Idaho)
IdahoMiningMarch 2012Abbreviated Preliminary Assessment

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Staff Contacts

Mine Waste Project Coordinator
Dana Swift
DEQ State Office
Waste Management & Remediation Division
1410 N. Hilton
Boise, ID 83706
(208) 373-0296
dana.swift@deq.idaho.gov

DEQ Guidance

Gilmore Townsite Health and Safety Fact Sheet

Related Mining Reports

Related Pages

Brownfields in Idaho

Voluntary Cleanup Program