|Eastern Mojave Vegetation||Pennsylvania Mine, Summit County, Colorado.|
See also: Horseshoe Basin.
See also: Peru Creek.
The Pennsylvania Mine was initially developed in 1879, according to the EPA, and produced gold, silver, lead, copper and zinc.
The mine is the largest anthropogenic contributor of heavy metals in the Snake River Watershed, which is the most impaired watershed in the state. Exposure to the metals can cause health problems in humans and wildlife.
Brian Lorch, the county's Open Space and Trails Department director, said the Pennsylvania property is owned by a small company called TransPacific Tourism of Colorado, which was formed by a Colorado couple specifically to buy the 169-acre property in 1990 and then sell it to foreign investors. The investors walked away after the mine's environmental problems became apparent, leaving the couple stuck with the property ever since, Lorch said. The county then worked with the landowners to create a restrictive covenant in 2008 that transferred all development rights off the property, he said, and the county would like to buy the land to protect it as open space if the mine is ever cleaned up enough that liability isn't an issue (Langley, 2015).
The EPA also plans to work with a private landowner who has owned the neighboring Jumbo Mine property for about 40 years. Because that property owner didn't cause the mine pollution, Paul Peronard EPA's on-scene coordinator said, the EPA will pay for the cleanup, which will likely cost less than a tenth of the Pennsylvania Mine reclamation (Langley, 2015).
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Date and time this article was prepared:1:53:45 PM, 3/31/2020.