Massive Clean-up of Holden Mine Restores Landscape
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The $500 million cleanup of the former Holden Mine above Lake Chelan is producing major results, as the mine site is no longer polluting the scenic central Washington lake.
Forest Service officials say that for the first time in nearly 60 years, clean water is once again flowing in Railroad Creek, which flows into Lake Chelan.
The Holden Mine was abandoned in 1957. But it continued to contaminate the environment with toxic metals including aluminum, cadmium, copper, iron and zinc.
Those heavy metals washed downstream, polluting water in Railroad Creek.
The cleanup took five years and was entirely paid for by Rio Tinto, the mining company that inherited the mess from a predecessor.
The cleanup work delivered an estimated $240 million dollars into the economies of Chelan and Douglas counties.