EPA to hold meeting on Vershire mine cleanup

Published: 06-07-2023 1:24 PM

VERSHIRE — The Environmental Protection Agency is hosting a public meeting Tuesday night to discuss its preliminary cleanup of an abandoned Vershire copper mine.

The former Ely Mine sits on about 350 acres off Beanville Road. The conclusion of mining activity in 1905 left behind 30 acres of waste material, including an estimated 172,000 tons of waste rock, tailings and other hazardous wastes.

In 2001, the EPA placed the Ely Mine on the federal government’s Superfund list, a designation reserved for the most polluted sites in the country. The government will fund any remediation efforts by the EPA at the mine, which could cost as much as $28 million. 

Current activities by the EPA at the mine are focused on historic resource recovery and documentation. The excavation and capping of the waste piles is expected to begin in 2024.

The Ely Mine is one in a string of old Upper Valley copper mines that have Superfund status. The Elizabeth Mine in Strafford is now largely cleaned up and cleanup at the Pike Hill Mine in Corinth is set to begin later this year.

The public meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, June 13, at 7 p.m. at the Vershire Town Center, at 27 Vershire Center Road.