Sandoval Receives Concessions from EPA on Conditions Surrounding Clean-Up of Anaconda Site

State Brings Together EPA, Local Government, Community and Tribal Leadership


Contact

Mari St. Martin
Communications Director
CARSON CITY, NV - March 29, 2016

Governor Brian Sandoval today announced, after receiving specific assurances regarding timeline and funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and working with local stakeholders on a community-led process, that he has agreed to conditionally concur with the EPA’s recommendation to list the Anaconda Copper Mine Site near Weed Heights in Lyon County on the EPA Superfund National Priorities List (NPL). Governor Sandoval was joined in support of this designation by Yerington Mayor George Dini, Lyon County Manager Jeffrey Page, Chairwoman of the Yerington Paiute Tribe Laurie Thom, Chairman of the Walker River Paiute Tribe Bobby Sanchez, and other community leaders.

“The shared goal of the State of Nevada, the EPA and representatives of Lyon County has always been to fully clean up the site in a timely manner. The state worked to develop a community-based process which brought local and federal stakeholders together. Based on assurances given to the local officials during the EPA’s visit to the site, the state will concur with the proposed designation and a plan for a rapid, comprehensive site clean-up will proceed,” said Governor Brian Sandoval. “I would like to thank Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld for traveling to Lyon County and meeting with local and state representatives. The health and well-being of the community has always been my top priority and I continue to be assured by the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection that there are no imminent concerns regarding the health and public safety of the residents. Today we have achieved a major milestone toward a full and swift clean-up of the site and I am grateful for the community’s leadership and remain committed to seeing this process through to the end.”

  • Coordination and collaboration on public statements between the EPA and local stakeholders to convey accurate information. When appropriate, the EPA will proactively seek out opportunities to issue joint press releases with the State, local, and/or tribal governments, and community leaders.
  • EPA must assure that federal funding will be made available if the Site is listed on the NPL. If EPA is unsuccessful in securing sufficient federal funds to permanently close the Arimetco portion of the Site, EPA must develop and implement a contingency plan of necessary interim actions to prevent a release of Arimetco draindown fluids to the environment.
  • In consultation with the Nevada Division Environmental Protection (NDEP), EPA must develop and commit to a prioritized five year schedule for Site work and adhere to that schedule to get critical path work done expeditiously.
  • NDEP will serve as the lead agency in managing the work related to the Arimetco heap closure and fluid management system remedies.
  • If federal funds are used for a final remedy, the State may not be able to fund 10% of capital costs up front and may need to establish an appropriate funding arrangement with EPA over time. Any costs the State may be liable for would occur after a final remedy for the Arimetco portion of the Site is implemented and the State would not be responsible for operating the fluid management system in the interim.
  • An agreement on an alternative funding mechanism for the Site has not yet emerged from the ongoing discussions with private parties. However, deferral to this option, including deferral to a re-mining proposal, should remain available as a future possibility.

“I would like to thank Governor Sandoval for ensuring that the local community was given a voice in this process. For more than a decade – local, state and federal partners have worked to ensure there are no immediate risks from this site to our city and county and we have been successful in managing this process,” said Yerington Mayor George Dini. “Today’s decision is a direct result of collaborating toward a shared goal of fully cleaning up the site in an efficient and responsible manner. The City of Yerington stands ready to continue our work with state and federal officials and is thankful that the EPA provided the necessary assurances to allow us to move closer to our mutual goal with confidence.”

“The additional time insisted upon by Governor Sandoval provided a necessary period for the EPA to meet with local and state leadership and stakeholders in order to come to a mutually agreeable resolution. I would like to thank the EPA for their time at the site, hearing our concerns, and providing a path toward rapid and comprehensive clean-up,” said Lyon County Manager Jeffrey Page. “The Lyon County Commission continues to be assured that there are no immediate concerns to our constituents but we recognize it is in the best interest to work with the EPA toward reclamation of the site.”

“For 37 years, Peri & Sons Farms has been one of the top producers of the highest quality onions and produce in the world. We are aware of a recent agreement between Governor Sandoval and the EPA to address issues at the Anaconda Mine. We are encouraged and we are in support of this step, and want to assure our loyal customers that we remain, as we always have been, completely unaffected by this development,” said David Peri, President and CEO, Peri & Sons Farms.

“The Yerington Tribe has been working for over a decade to bring Superfund resources to the Anaconda Mine Site in Yerington, Nevada. Over the last year, we have worked with Governor Sandoval and U.S. EPA to develop a plan to list the site to meet this goal. We also recognize the sincere and vital importance of efforts made by past YPT Tribal Leaders, Councils and Environmental Directors to proactively protect our natural resources,” said Chairwoman of the Yerington Paiute Tribe Laurie Thom. “We are very proud of the announcement from Governor Sandoval’s office today and the amazing group of residents, local government and businesses that have come together with us to support this needed effort. We look forward to continued cooperative efforts in working together to maintain the sustainability of our region.”

“This decision is the best outcome for our entire community. On behalf of the Walker River Paiute Tribe, we extend our gratitude to Governor Sandoval for providing leadership during these negotiations,” said Walker River Paiute Tribal Chairman Bobby Sanchez. “Today’s announcement marks major progress in fully cleaning the site and ensuring future generations will have the opportunity to enjoy the Mason Valley as we have.”

Points of Contact:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld
Kelly Zito
1-415-947-4306

Lyon County Manager Jeff Page
jpage@lyon-county.org

Mayor George Dini
City Manager Dan Newell
manager@yerington.net

Walker River Paiute Tribal Chairman Bobby Sanchez
Cynthia Oceguera
cynthiaoceguera8@gmail.com

Pam Peri
Catherine Cole
catherine.cole@rrpartners.com

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