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Formosa Mine Added to EPA National Priorities List


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has added the Formosa Mine site to the Superfund “National Priorities List” (NPL). The former mine is located about ten miles south of Riddle, Oregon in rural Douglas County, Oregon. The NPL is EPA’s list of the most serious uncontrolled hazardous waste sites identified for possible long-term clean up action under Superfund.

“Adding the Formosa Mine site to the Superfund list means the EPA can take action to clean up this former mine site that degrades water quality in the Umpqua River basin,” said Elin Miller, Regional Administrator of EPA’s Pacific Northwest Office. “We want to make sure that the water supply in Riddle and other downstream communities remains safe in the future.”

EPA will work collaboratively with the Bureau of Land Management, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, the Cow Creek Band of the Umpqua Tribe of Indians and other community stakeholders to study the contamination and develop a long-term cleanup plan for the site. EPA is also evaluating early action that may reduce the amount of acid mine drainage flowing from the site in the short-term.

The Formosa mine site is a former copper, zinc and thorium mine. After mining operations ceased in the early 1990’s, highly acidic storm-water from the mine became an ongoing source of contamination to the south fork of Middle Creek. Dissolved copper, zinc and other heavy metals are severely degrading aquatic habitat for fish and other stream life, including coastal steelhead trout and Oregon coastal coho salmon.

To add your name to the project mailing list contact Judy Smith at or 503-326-6994. For additional information about the Formosa Mine site, including information gathered during the listing process and the final Federal Register notice, please visit:


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