Supplemental Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis (EE/CA) Public Comment

Project Background

The Ore Hill mine is an abandoned copper, lead, and zinc mine located on the White Mountain National Forest in Grafton County, New Hampshire, three miles from the town of Warren. It exhibits acid mine drainage that constitutes a release, or threat of release, of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant into the environment.

Forest Service policy is to respond to releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants, or threats of such releases, under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act or CERCLA (please see CERCLA page).

Unlike the vast majority of Forest Service projects, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis is not required for work conducted under CERCLA authority.

The Forest Service conducted a CERCLA Preliminary Assessment of the Site in 2000, and several other investigations and reports, culminating in a major CERCLA Removal Action in 2006 which has reduced the volume of dissolved hazardous metals leaving the mine site in surface water by approximately 80 percent (please see monitoring on the Site Action page). Alternatives to further mitigate these metals are evaluated in a May 2008 supplemental Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis.

As of the summer of 2008, the Forest Service is planning to partially accept the recommendations in the Supplemental EE/CA and install a small-scale sulfate reducing bioreactor as a treatability study to gather more support data over the summer. If the treatability study is successful, the Forest Service would plan to install a full-scale bioreactor and perform additional work to address water quality, as noted in the supplemental EE/CA, in 2009.

Download the supplemental EE/CA (PDF file)

View the Ore Hill site web pages

How to Comment to the Forest Service on the supplemental EE/CA

Consistent with CERCLA community relations requirements, the Forest Service will make the supplemental Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis available to the public for review and comment. The document may be downloaded from this site, or a hard copy viewed at the Pemigewasset Ranger District Office of the White Mountain National Forest, 1171 NH route 175, Holderness, New Hampshire 03245. The Site Administrative Record for the Ore Hill CERCLA site resides at this location as well, and is also available for public inspection. Additionally, the supplemental EE/CA is available at the Joseph Patch Library in Warren during normal business hours.

The Forest Service is accepting written, oral, hand-delivered, facsimile, or electronic comments on the supplemental Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis now, or during a formal 30-day comment period to be announced in the near future.

In your comments, please include the following information:

  • Your name, address, and telephone number, and the organization you represent (if applicable)
  • The document you are commenting on: Ore Hill supplemental EE/CA.
  • Site-specific comments, concerns, or facts regarding the Ore Hill CERCLA Project and the EE/CA, along with supporting reasons and information you believe will help identify issues, develop alternatives, or predict environmental effects.

Please note that CERCLA decisions are not subject to appeal; additionally, no federal, state, or local permits are required for on-site response actions conducted under CERCLA.

Written Comments:

By letter or hand delivery - Pemigewasset Ranger District, White Mountain National Forest, 1171 NH Route 175, Holderness, NH 03245, Attention Tim Buxton

By FAX - (603) 466-2856, Attention: Ore Hill, c/o Tim Buxton

By email - Submit electronic comments in a format such as an email message, plain text (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), or Word (.doc) to with "Ore Hill" in the subject line.

Oral Comments:

Oral comments must be received in person at the Pemigewasset Ranger Station, or via telephone (603) 536-1315 (TTY (603) 536-1089) during normal business hours (8:00 AM to 4:30 PM). Please ask to speak with Jen Young.

Comments received, including the name and address of the commenter, become part of the CERCLA site Administrative Record for this project, and will be available for public inspection. The Forest Service response to substantive comments will also become part of the site Administrative Record.

You may obtain additional information regarding this project from Tim Buxton, the Site Spokesperson/CERCLA on-Scene Coordinator, at the White Mountain National Forest, 300 Glen Road, Gorham, NH; telephone (603) 466-2713 extension 237; email

Thank you for your interest and participation in the management of the White Mountain National Forest.