Harquaha​la PA/SI

Project Impact

The site poses a significant risk to the environment due to the presence of high concentrations of arsenic and lead in the tailings pile, surrounding areas, and wash on public land. These contaminants can cause significant risk to wildlife and plants in the area. Water from the tailings pile collects in accessible ponds for wildlife to drink and significant soil leaching affects plant health. 
The private mine adjacent to the site further increases these risks by contributing to contaminant migration and surface water runoff, primarily affecting the wash and hot spot areas. This migration was evident throughout the site and contamination increases closer to the private land and tailings pile. 

The current contamination of the site has several economic implications for local businesses and the community. Contamination of the public land may deter tourists and ATV enthusiasts from using the heavily trafficked trails. This may lead to losses for businesses reliant on tourist housing or ATV rentals. The health impacts for people exposed to the Lead and Arsenic contamination can result in increased healthcare costs for individuals that may experience exposure affects.   

Contamination at the site can potentially affect the overall health of the local community from recreational exposure. Remediating the public land would also make the region more visually appealing and increase the sense of community pride among people who live nearby. Remediation would decrease, if not eliminate, the site's dangers, thereby increasing public health and well-being for visitors and neighboring residents. A No Action alternative at the site would enable offsite contaminants migration to continue, endangering ecosystems and increasing exposure to recreational users/private land workers.