Removal of residual mining wastes from Gilpin property

Eye of the Heart Wildlife Refuge near Rollinsville

PRESS RELEASE – Removal of residual mining wastes from the Eye of the Heart Wildlife Refuge was completed in June after Laurel Higgins succeeded in winning a grant from the State to clean up barrels of tar and other substances that required assistance from the Colorado State Department of Health and Environment along with the EPA support.

Using Brownfields Response Action funds, the Remediation Program of the Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Division assisted in the removal of residual mining wastes from the Eye of the Heart Wildlife Refuge located in Gilpin County near Rollinsville. The 50-acre refuge includes 12 acres of wetlands at the headwaters of Lump Gulch Creek which drains into South Boulder Creek and eventually Gross Reservoir. Under different ownership, the property previously operated on and off as a placer mining claim until 1979. The current owner, the Eye of the Heart Wildlife Refuge, is a non-profit organization with the mission of providing educational opportunities in the understanding of the significance of preserving sensitive wetlands and wildlife areas, and the role these areas play in overall ecosystem health. The refuge’s request for assistance was supported by the Gilpin County Board of County Commissioners, and the by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which contributed analytical support. Craig Gander managed the project, which was completed on June 12, 2013.

We are very pleased to report the responsible removal of the last remnants of hazardous materials from EHWR lands and applaud our state and federal agencies for their monetary assistance in this project. The monies were levied from a five cent state tax fund levied at every landfill. Thank you Colorado!

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