Abstract Book, U.S. Department of the Interior Conference on the Environment and Safety, April 24-28, 1995. Washington, DC: U.S. Bureau of Mines, 1995 Apr; :10
Because of recently enacted environmental regulations, many groups, including land managing agencies, are increasingly concerned about the environmental and physical hazards and legal liabilities of inactive and abandoned mines. Accordingly, in order to gain an understanding of the scope and magnitude of problems, a number of previous studies were evaluated in comparison with the Bureau of Mines data bases, in an attempt to identify the number of sites, determine the number of features per site, identify the frequency of environmental and physical hazards, determine the average cost per hazard and thus the average cost per feature and finally, estimate the cost per site. The number of total sites on federal lands is estimated to be between 114,000 and 136,000. These sites contain an estimated 158,000 to 1,289,000 physical hazard features, that will require between $2.5 bullion and $21 billion to remediate. The number of sites requiring environmental remediation is estimated at 1750 to 5000. This will require an additional $3.8 billion to $13.7 billion to cleanup. The total cost of cleaning up the federal lands is estimated to be $6.3 billion to $34.5 billion.