Mercury Site Vandalized, Potential Health Hazard


Inactive mercury milling site south of Homedale

The Bureau of Land Management is investigating vandalism at an abandoned mercury mine in Owyhee County. More importantly, the BLM is now dealing with a significant safety issue.

Feds are actively working to identify the extent of the environmental impact to the the site, south of Homedale. The long-inactive Mercury milling site was vandalized, "causing the integrity of the structures to be jeopardized," according to the BLM. As a result of the vandalism, mercury has been spilled to the soil surface. A perimeter fence is being built around the area.

"BLM is asking the public to stay way from the site due to the potential health hazard," said Carrie Wontorcik, a BLM hazardous material specialist. "We are the very beginning stages of characterizing the level and extent of contamination at and around the site."