GMUG Seeks Comment on Forest Hill Mill and Tailings Washout Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis (EE/CA)

Contact(s): Kim Phillips, Dylan Peters

Gunnison, Colorado, November 8, 2019 – The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forests’ Gunnison Ranger District is seeking public comment during the 30-day public comment period on the EE/CA for the Forest Hill Mill and Tailings Washout site located near the junction of National Forest Service Road (NSFR) #742 (Taylor Road) and NFSR #748, approximately six miles north of Taylor Park Reservoir.

The GMUG is evaluating a non-time critical removal action (NTCRA) to address mill tailings that contain concentrations of metals that may be hazardous to human health and the environment, in accordance with the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA).

The Forest Hill site consists of the remnants of a mill and surrounding mine tailings that were historically discharged adjacent to Trail Creek, and areas between Trail Creek and NFSR #748. Additional tailings washout crossed NFSR #748 via surface water deposited into an Upper Washout Area and into the depositional plain south of Taylor River, called the Lower Washout Area.

The GMUG has conducted a Site Inspection and separate data gap site characterization of the former mill and washout areas, including sampling and chemical analyses of tailings, soil, sediment, and adjacent streams. The results of these studies are presented in the EE/CA report, along with a human health and ecological risk screening. The objective of the EE/CA is to evaluate and select the removal action alternative that reduces the potential for exposure to acceptable levels, and to reduce the potential for contaminants to migrate or be released.

A public meeting is planned to present the EE/CA report and discuss the removal action alternatives evaluated:

  • Meeting Date and Time: November 21, 2019, 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM.
  • Meeting Location:  Fred Field Center, 275 S. Spruce Street, Gunnison Colorado (970-641-8561).
  • The EE/CA report is available for review at:
  • For further information, contact Curtis Cross, GMUG Forest Engineer, 970-874-6667,
  • All comments regarding the EE/CA report must be received by the Forest Service by December 12, 2019.

Comments may be:

  • Mailed to the Gunnison Ranger District, 216 N. Colorado, Gunnison, CO, 81230.
  • Delivered to the Gunnison District during business hours, Monday - Friday 8 AM to 5 PM.
  • Submitted by email to: .
  • For more information, contact the Gunnison District at 970-641-0471.