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Posted 12/16/2014

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By Ann Marie R. Harvie
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District

The Elizabeth Mine Superfund Site Project Delivery Team received the prestigious Green Dream Team Award in the 2014 USACE Sustainability Award Program during a virtual awards ceremony held via video teleconference in the Vermont Conference Room on Oct. 7.
Maj. Gen. Richard L. Stevens, Deputy Chief of Engineers, handed off the presentation of the Green Dream Team Sustainability Award to Lt. Col. Charles Gray, Deputy Commander, New England District during the VTC. Lt. Col. Gray presented the award to Stephen Dunbar, Project Manager, and the other members of the PDT.  

The Green Dream Team Award recognizes exceptional leadership by an interagency green team to effectively place a federal sustainability idea into action. 

The PDT implemented a comprehensive Green Remediation Strategy that resulted in significant reductions in onsite emissions, fuel consumption, off-site materials, and also resulted in recycling large quantities of consumable waste. Through the PDT’s focused effort, the 2013 construction season included capping over 3 million cubic yards (43 acres) of mine tailings, treating over 10 million gallons of impacted water, and creating over 10 acres of wetland.

The District PDT implemented a ‘Green Remediation Strategy’ at the site that would identify measures to minimize the impacts to the local environment. The strategy reduced air contaminants associated with onsite or offsite fuel consumption; used onsite rather than imported material for backfill and site restoration; established processes for maximum recycling or reuse of waste materials; and initiated a procurement process for environmentally preferred products. In addition, the strategy called for reducing the volume of materials entering the waste stream (refuse) and assuring preservation of the site’s historic aspects and ecosystem. By executing this strategy without significantly impacting overall costs, the NAE PDT implemented 11 measures that ranged from reducing onsite emission of air contaminants to using biodegradable, wood fiber-based material on all slopes adjacent to the TP-1A soil cap to control erosion while still allowing re-vegetation to occur.

The Elizabeth Mine Superfund Site is located in Strafford, Vermont. It is an abandoned copper and iron-sulfate mine that operated from 1806 until 1958.  The operations were open-pit type mining. At the end of its operation, the mine was abandoned without any closure measures to restrict access or to prevent run-off from entering the mine. In addition, there were 40 acres of exposed tailing piles (TP) which were still producing acid mine drainage. The acid run-off was causing water quality problems in receiving waters of the drainage, Copperas Brook, and downstream in the west branch of the Ompompanoosuc River.

The New England District Elizabeth Mine Superfund Site PDT members are: Scott Acone (former Project Manager); Steve Dunbar (Project Manager since 2011); David O’Connor (Construction PM); Chris Caisse (onsite Construction Representative through 2012, including cap construction); Randy Lecuyer (onsite Construction Representative in 2013 during wetland restoration); Mark J. Anderson, Jr. (Technical Lead); Jon Kullberg (Geotech); Silas Sanderson (Geotech); Kathy Malinowski (Geo-Environmental); Kate Atwood (Cultural) and Mike Penko (Environmental).