Water Resource Collections and Archives


San Francisco Bay Fund Inventory of Projects

San Francisco Bay Fund Inventory of Projects

Developing a Methodology for Clean Up of Abandoned Mines Project

Organization: Sustainable Conservation
2008 Grant Recipient – Contra Costa County


More than 47,000 abandoned mines exist in California - with more than 5,000 presenting environmental hazards. Sustainable Conservation evaluated the costs and benefits of voluntary cleanups at abandoned mines in the western U.S. - and produced a case comparison between a voluntary cleanup done in Utah under the federal Good Samaritan Initiative, and a voluntary cleanup proposed in California.

Sustainable Conservation's study reviewed the legal and engineering methodologies used by a non-profit organization, four federal agencies and two private companies to clean up the Pacific Mine along Utah's American Fork Canyon River. The Utah experience is then compared to the circumstances surrounding the proposed cleanup of the abandoned Mount Diablo Mercury Mine along California's Marsh Creek (in Contra Costa County). A series of detailed conclusions and recommendations distilled the lessons learned to date in Utah and California, and provided stakeholders with options for advancing a voluntary cleanup of the Mount Diablo Mercury Mine. Read more ...

2012 Update

The study provides compelling insight into how the Good Samaritan Initiative has been, and could be used successfully in the West to empower voluntary actions that protect the environment and people.


Primary Contact for the Project

Tim Vendlinski
Program Director
Sustainable Conservation
Phone: (415) 977-0380
E-mail: TVendlinski@SusCon.org
Website: www.SusCon.org

Quick Links

Project Photos

Marsh Creek Reservoir with Mt. Diablo beyond. Photograph furnished by the County of Contra Costa.

This map (above) and this aerial picture (below) of the Mt. Diablo Mercury Mine were prepared by the County of Contra Costa.

Two views of the main seep at the Mt. Diablo Mercury Mine from across the settling pond. Above, the mine as it appeared in 1994 from the archives of R.W. Graymer, D.L. Jones, and E.E. Brabb; USGS Open-File Report 94-622.

The mine as it appeared on 31 July 2008 courtesy of John Hillenbrand, US EPA. Hazardous waste seeps from the San Francisco Bay Area's Mt. Diablo Mercury Mine.

Last modified: 7/26/2012 6:43 PM by S. Haren

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Water Resources Collections and Archives
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California State University, San Bernardino
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