A pit lake, now drained and filled, will be covered with limestone and soil, and will become a wetland. (EPA photo)

Trucks rumbling through Norwich are part of mine cleanup


Submitted 3 months ago
Created by
Mark Travis

If you travel Route 132 in Norwich this fall, you may share the road with big company. Ten-wheel and tractor-trailer style dump trucks are making 15 to 20 trips a day along Route 5 and then out Route 132 as they make deliveries to the Elizabeth Mine Superfund site in Strafford.

Ed Hathaway, the EPA project manager for the project, said the trucks are carrying topsoil as well as stone.

In total, he said, this phase of the project will require 1,200 truckloads of material and will run at least through October, possibly into November.

The Elizabeth Mine was an active copper mine for 150 years, ending in 1958. The operation left behind a mess of tailings, waste rock, mine entrances and barren areas called roast beds. Drainage from pit lakes has polluted streams and groundwater. The work undertaken this year includes draining and treating the water in those lakes, then filling them.

This summer's work has also involved blasting at the site, which is expected to continue into September. Much of the work has occurred along Copperas Road, which runs from Strafford into Sharon, not far from the Norwich border.

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