In 1842, copper mining and ore processing activities began in the southeastern Tennessee-northern Georgia area and continued until the late 1990s. Metals and polychlorinated bipheyls (PCBs) contamination and deforestation of over 50 acres occured as a result of the mining and smelting processes. Severe erosion and contamination of segments of the Ocoee River and two major watersheds were significant problems, creating the largest manmade biological desert in the nation. The area was easily distinguished as a scar on the terrain from the International Space Station.
Barge Waggoner has provided program management and organization for the environmental cleanup and environmental remediation of the Copper Basin Mining District. Working cooperatively with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), stakeholders, and citizens, we have worked consistently on the clean up and repair of the environmental damage. The EPA has cited the program as an "excellent example" of the use of the Superfund Alternative approach to environmental cleanup.
Barge Waggoner has provided remedial design activities that have included capping of waste areas, subsurface infiltration collection and treatment systems, groundwater pump and treatment systems, subsurface barrier walls, chemical stabilization, soil vapor extraction, and surface impoundment closures.