Elizabeth Mine: Protecting People, Ecosystems, and Heritage - A Shared Legacy


The Elizabeth Mine Superfund site is an abandoned copper and copperas (ferrous sulfate) mine located in the Vermont Copper Belt in the east-central part of the state. The ore body was first discovered in the late 1700s and copperas production began soon after in the early 1800s. Mining activities continued at Elizabeth Mine for nearly 150 years. Over the years, historic tailing piles and waste piles have become a substantial source of acid mine drainage (AMD). The historic significance of the site complicates planning, investigations, and cleanup activities. To provide the best opportunity to fully consider stakeholder concerns, EPA has implemented a phased cleanup. The initial phase is a non-time-critical removal action (NTCRA) to address three major sources of contamination. When funding was not available to initiate the NTCRA after the discovery that the tailing dam was at risk of failure, EPA began a time-critical removal action (TCRA) to stabilize the dam and re-route surface water. In 2006, EPA began work under the NTCRA to further stabilize the dam and address remaining contamination. Ths mine is one of the most significant remnants of the once thriving northeastern U.S. copper mining industry.The site's historic nature inspired a great deal of local and regional interest, as there are few such mine landscapes remaining in New England. EPA has strived to maintain a balance between historic resource preservation and environmental remediation; however, it is increasingly difficult when historic resources are often the primary source of contamination. EPA has developed a cleanup approach that will achieve the environmental cleanup objectives at Elizabeth Mine while minimizing the effect on the historic resources.

Cite this Record

Elizabeth Mine: Protecting People, Ecosystems, and Heritage - A Shared Legacy. United States Environmental Protection Agency. Abandoned Mine Lands Case Study. Washington, DC: United States Environmental Protection Agency. 2006 ( tDAR id: 390864) ; doi:10.6067/XCV80K2BJW

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -72.773; min lat: 43.069 ; max long: -72.004; max lat: 43.787 ;

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