California Gulch Superfund Site

State TrusteeState of Colorado
Federal TrusteeU.S. Department of Agriculture
AO Bureau

Also Known As

Incident Type




Case Status



Upper Arkansas River


Contaminants of Concern Include

Affected DOI Resources Include

Migratory Birds

Financial Summary

Restoration Funds Collected:


*Restoration Funds Allocated:


*Restoration Funds Remaining:


* Restoration Funds can contain multiple settlements/projects. All collections are placed in interest bearing accounts. For detailed information on individual settlements/ projects please visit: NRDAR Status Report

Visit the Withdrawal Request Form to request restoration funds. Login required.

Case Description

The California Gulch Superfund Site (the “Site”) encompasses more than 15 square miles, including the town of Leadville, Colorado, and surrounding areas where historic mining activities took place. The Site contains more than 2,000 mine waste piles, as well as the Yak Tunnel which discharges drainage from numerous underground mines into California Gulch. Heavy metals and acid released at or from the Site as a result of historic mining activities are hazardous substances that have caused injuries to natural resources. Because of this extensive contamination, the Site was placed on the National Priorities List in September 1983.

The Trustees, through the issuance of a preliminary estimate of damages, determined that releases of hazardous substances from the Site have resulted in injuries to surface water, terrestrial, and groundwater resources. An interactive story map of the economic contributions from this case's restoration projects can be found here.

Abandoned mine, Credit: USFWS

Credit: USFWS

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Case Documents

 Document TypeDocument NameDocument Date


 MOA/MOU Cooperative Agreement 12/21/1998
 MOA/MOU Trustees Agreement 08/29/2008


 Study Report BOR Technical Report  


 Consent Decree Consent Decree (ASARCO) 06/26/2008
 Consent Decree Consent Decree (BOR) 10/26/2006
 Consent Decree Consent Decree (Newmont) 06/26/2008


 Public Participation Plan Public Participation Plan 09/21/1999
 Restoration Plan Restoration Alternatives 12/31/2003
 Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment Restoration Plan-Tiger and Dinero Tunnels 08/25/2009
 Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment Watershed Restoration Plan 04/14/2010

Map View

Case Contact

Colorado Ecological Services, (Mountain Prairie) Colorado Field Office

Denver, CO | (303) 236-4773 |

Case Trustees

AO Bureau
Federal TrusteeU.S. Department of Agriculture
State TrusteeState of Colorado

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