Large-scale hard rock mining and milling operations took place near Gilmore until the 1950s and left behind contaminated waste in the form of tailings, waste rock, and processed ore. Over time, human activities, wind, and water have distributed contaminated soil across the townsite. Lead and arsenic do not break down over time and will remain in soil unless removed. Sampling conducted by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) confirmed lead in soil at levels 50+ times higher than considered safe near a residence. Elevated levels of arsenic were also found in soil in some townsite locations.
High levels of lead and arsenic are present in soil and dust at and near the Gilmore townsite and can be very harmful to your health.
DEQ will update this website with more information regarding the metals contamination at the Gilmore townsite and surrounding lands as it becomes available.
During March and April 2023, DEQ conducted a survey of Gilmore landowners and site users. A questionnaire was mailed to the roughly 100 people who own land within or surrounding the Gilmore townsite. Other members of the public were also invited to participate. Review a summary of the Gilmore community survey.
The voluntary survey gathered information about metals contamination in soils in historic towns and surrounding lands. Responses will help DEQ and partnering agencies understand the communities’ interests and concerns about lead and arsenic health risks, current and future land uses, and potential cleanup activities.
Lead, arsenic, and other metals can enter your body by breathing in (inhaling) or swallowing (ingesting) contaminated dust or soil. Exposure to lead, arsenic, and other metals will be difficult to avoid at and near the Gilmore townsite, especially during activities such as playing, eating, working, and riding bikes or ATVs. Children, pregnant women, and women of childbearing age are most at risk and need to avoid exposure. See the next page for ways to reduce exposure.
Limiting the amount of time in the area or avoiding intense exposure can reduce but not eliminate exposure. Learn more about reducing exposure at the Gilmore Townsite.
Lead is toxic. It can be harmful to anyone, but it is most dangerous for young children, pregnant women, and women of childbearing age. Lead exposure can negatively affect a child’s brain development, and its effects may be permanent. In adults, elevated exposure to lead can damage the body’s internal organs or increase blood pressure. Lead poisoning can occur with no obvious symptoms. There is no safe blood level of lead – notify your family’s health care provider of lead exposure from soil and dust at Gilmore. Arsenic is a known human carcinogen, and long-term exposure can increase cancer risk. Arsenic can harm people of all ages.
|U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Consultation||Lemhi||2023|
|Expanded Site Inspection Report for Gilmore Townsite and Surrounding Lands||Lemhi||2022|
|Gilmore Townsite Common Use Areas and Surrounding Lands||Lemhi||2017|
|Gilmore Division of the Texas Mining District||Lemhi||2016|
|Gilmore Division of the Texas Mining District (aka Pittsburgh Idaho Mine, Pittsburgh Idaho Group, P.I. Mine, Never Sweat Mine, Silver Dollar Mine, Latest Out Mine; aka Hatton, Edie, Glen Tunnel, Silver Dollar Extension, W.H. Cannon, Gilmore, Andy, Martha, Dorothy, Ruth, La Porte, G.A.P, Olive, Vick, Texas, Sixteen-to-One (16 to 1), Mixer, Cook, Annex, Roy Launder, Ernest, Elk, and Elk No. 2 patented claims)||Lemhi||2011|
|Andy Patented Claim (aka Allie Group, Allie Mining Co. Claims, “Old” Gilmore Town Site, Andy Tunnel)||Lemhi||2010|
|Edie Patented Claim (aka Allie Group, Allie Mining Co. Claims)||Lemhi||2010|
|G.A.P. Patented Claim (aka Gilmore Mercantile Co. Claims, Martha Group, Dorothy Group)||Lemhi||2010|
|Gilmore Patented Claim (aka Allie Group, Allie Mining Co. Claims, Gilmore Mine, Gilmore Decline, Gilmore Tunnel)||Lemhi||2010|
|Glen Tunnel (aka Allie Group, Allie Mining Co. Claims, Glen Patent)||Lemhi||2010|
|Hatton Patented Claim (aka Allie Group, Allie Mining Co. Claims)||Lemhi||2010|
|La Porte Patented Claim (aka Gilmore Mercantile Co. Claims, Martha Group, Dorothy Group)||Lemhi||2010|
|Latest Out Mine (aka Pittsburgh-Idaho Group, Allie Group, Latest Out Patent, Latest Out Tunnel, Latest Out Shaft)||Lemhi||2010|
|Never Sweat Mine (aka Pittsburgh Idaho Mine, Never Sweat Shaft, Pittsburgh-Idaho Group)||Lemhi||2010|
|Silver Dollar Extension Patented Claim (aka Pittsburgh-Idaho Group)||Lemhi||2010|
|Sixteen-to-One (16 to 1) Patented Claim (aka Pittsburgh-Idaho Group)||Lemhi||2010|
|Texas Patented Claim (aka Pittsburgh-Idaho Group)||Lemhi||2010|
|W.H. Cannon Patented Claim (aka Allie Group, Allie Mining Co. Claims)||Lemhi||2010|