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Environmental Cleanup Site Information (ECSI) Database Site Summary Report - Details for Site ID 601, White King & Lucky Lass Uranium Mines

This report shows data entered as of September 19, 2021 at 6:56:11 AM

This report contains site details, organized into the following sections: 1) Site Photos (appears only if the site has photos); 2) General Site Information; 3) Site Characteristics; 4) Substance Contamination Information; 5) Investigative, Remedial and Administrative Actions; and 6) Site Environmental Controls (i.e., institutional or engineering controls; appears only if DEQ has applied one or more such controls to the site).  A key to certain acronyms and terms used in the report appears at the bottom of the page.

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Environmental Cleanup Site Information (ECSI) Database Site Summary Report - Details for Site ID 601, White King & Lucky Lass Uranium Mines

Site Photos
Click to View Photo Picture Date Caption Size
View Photo 01/17/2008 May 2005- View from high wall on NW side of White King pond. Pipeline floated by tires was used for injection of lime slurry. Previous lime injections involved placing baskets of limestone by helicopter. 49 Kb
View Photo 01/17/2008 May 2005-from top of Lucky Lass stockpile, looking north. Trenches were dug to help dewater this area, to facilitate removing of contaminated material, for placement on top of protore stockpile. 43 Kb
View Photo 01/17/2008 May 2005 - Top of Lucky Lass stockpile. 39 Kb
View Photo 01/17/2008 June 2006 - Base of protore stockpile, looking south 392 Kb
View Photo 01/17/2008 June 2006 - Looking E-SE towards partially constructed wetlands 5931 and 5927. 388 Kb
View Photo 01/17/2008 Sept 2006 - Consolidated stockpile. 773 Kb

General Site Information

Site ID: 601 Site Name: White King & Lucky Lass Uranium Mines CERCLIS No: 7122307658
Address: 37S/19E/S30 Lakeview 97630
  County: Lake Region: Eastern
Other location information: White King Mine (WKM) is approximately 17 miles NW of Lakeview at an elevation of approximately 6,000 feet; Lucky Lass Mine (LLM) is 1 mile NW of WKM at an elevation of 6,150 feet; Lucky Lass lat: 42/20/8 and long: 121/32/21; Lucky Lass T/R/S: 37S/18E/25AB.
Investigation Status: Listed on CRL or Inventory
Brownfield Site: No NPL Site: Yes Orphan Site: No Study Area: No
Property: Twnshp/Range/Sect: 37S , 19E , 30 Tax Lots: 900 (30) & 1000 (9)
  Latitude: 42.3327 deg. Longitude: -120.5208 deg.  Site Size: 140 acres
Other Site Names:
  Fremont National Forest Uranium Mines (USDA)
  US DA FS - White King/Lucky Lass Mines
  USDA FS FREMONT NATL FOREST
  Western Nuclear

Site Characteristics

General Site Description:
Site History:
Contamination Information: (11/15/2002 BPM/SRS) The White King and Lucky Lass uranium mines operated from about the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s in the Fremont National Forest northwest of Lakeview. The US Forest Service began investigating the site in 1989 to see if any cleanup was needed. Stockpiles of overburden and protore (rock and soil associated with ore body) had been left behind at the site. The stockpiles contain over 1.1 million cubic yards of material, and exceed regulatory standards for arsenic, radium-226, and uranium. The open mining pits had filled with acidic water, and contained elevated levels of radioactive materials, arsenic, manganese, and sulfates. EPA listed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in April 1995 and took the lead in the investigation and cleanup. DEQ, the Oregon Department of Energy, and the Forest Service assumed advisory roles. Kerr-McGee Corporation, which had acquired the Lakeview Mining Company through a series of mergers, stepped forward to conduct the Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS).
Manner and Time of Release: Mine dewatering; time of release unknown.
Hazardous Substances/Waste Types: arsenic, radium-226, uranium-238, radon, sulfates, manganese.
Pathways: Surface water; Auger Creek flows nearby the site (supporting wetlands and recreational fishing).
Environmental/Health Threats: (4-27-05, Bob Schwarz) The primary threats at this site were exposure to radioactive contaminants in the stockpiled material, and acidic water in the White King Pond. Measure to reduce this risk are described more fully in the Remedial Action section of this summary. The pH of the pond has been neutralized by the addition of lime. Radioactive soils are being consolidated and covered, and move away from Auger Creek.
Status of Investigative or Remedial Action: (11/15/2002 BPM/SRS) Several interim actions were conducted during the RI/FS. Kerr-McGee and the Forest Service installed erosion-control devices at the site between Sept. 1995 and April 1996 to prevent the stockpiles at White King from washing into Auger Creek. Kerr-McGee applied approx. 9,000 lbs. of hydrated lime to the White King excavation pond in August 1998, and an additional 10 tons of limestone rock in October 1999, to reduce the acidity of the pond. The RI/FS was completed in August 1999. EPA and the Forest Service released a proposed final cleanup plan for public comment in October 1999. After a lengthy public comment and internal review period, a Record of Decision was issued in September 2001. The selected remedy includes consolidating material from the Lucky Lass stockpile with the two White King stockpiles, capping the stockpiles in place at the White King site, and neutralizing the water in the White King pond. A draft consent order and scope of work for implementation of the remedial action are currently under negotiation.

Entry, Feb. 1, 2005:

Remedial construction at the White King and Lucky Lass mines will be done during the construction seasons (roughly June through first half of October) of 2005 and 2006. Remedial activities will include the following:

- Recontour the White King protore stockpile so that it is no longer within the Auger Creek floodplain.

- Excavate the White King Mine haul road, a portion of the Lucky Lass stockpile, and certain off-pile areas where there is evidence of mine-related waste above cleanup levels, and place these materials on the recontoured protore stockpile.

- Excavate the White King overburden stockpile, which consists predominantly of clay-like material, and place it on the recontoured protore stockpile to form a low-permeability layer.

- Place 20 inches of cover soil an 4 inches of a topsoil/armor gravel mixture on the consolidated stockpile surface, to support vegetation and minimize erosion, and seed the topsoil surface.

- Place 3 inches of topsoil and reseed those areas where soil has been removed.

(Bob Schwarz, Jan. 17, 2008) The construction activities identified above were completed on schedule, during the construction seasons of 2005 and 2006. Maintenance and monitoring are ongoing.

(Bob Schwarz, April 7, 2009) Tronox, the responsible party for this site, has filed for bankruptcy. DEQ and USEPA are monitoring this situation to determine if and how it will affect post-closure monitoring at the site.

(Bob Schwarz, 11-1-2012) Groundwater monitoring results through October 2011 are presented in the attached July 2012 report by Golder Associates ("2011 Groundwater Monitoring at the White King/Lucky Lass Mines Superfund Site"). Based on these results, no additional groundwater monitoring is planned.

Benthic conditions in the White King Pond have been monitored seven times between 2004 and 2011. Results are presented in the attached July 2012 report by Golder Associates ("2011 White King Pond Benthic Invertebrate Monitoring Study"). Conditions have improved as a result of periodic addition of lime to neutralize pH in the pond. We anticipate that these lime applications will be continued every five years or so.

Results of sediment and benthic invertehbrate monitoring at Augur Creek are presented in the attached November 2011 report by Golder Associates ("2009 Augur Creek Sediment and Benthic Invertebtrate Monitoring Study").

(2017-03-17) USEPA completed the second 5-year review report for this site on Sept. 23, 2015. A copy of that report is attached.
Data Sources:

Substance Contamination Information

Substance Media Contaminated Concentration Level Date Recorded
ARSENIC Groundwater  
RADIUM Groundwater 15.37 pCi/L  
RADON Groundwater 21,300 pCi/L  
URANIUM Groundwater 43,600 pCi/L  

Investigative, Remedial and Administrative Actions

Action Start Date Compl. Date Resp. Staff Lead Pgm
OPERATION & MAINTENANCE  (Primary Action) 03/01/2005   Robert Schwarz SRS
View Full Report Showing Action History

Key to Certain Acronyms and Terms in this Report:

You may be able to obtain more information about this site by contacting Robert Schwarz at the Eastern regional office or via email at bob.schwarz@deq.state.or.us. If this does not work, you may contact Ximena Cruz Cuevas (503) 229-6811, or via email at ximena.cruzcuevas@deq.state.or.us or contact the Eastern regional office.