The Vermont Asbestos Group Mine site is an inactive
asbestos mine and mill which operated beginning in the early 1900’s
and closed in 1993. The mine site comprises 1540 acres on private lands
on Belvidere Mountain within the towns of Eden and Lowell, Vermont.
The asbestos ore was mined from open pits producing chrysotile “white”
asbestos. The Vermont Asbestos Group or “VAG” was one of
a number of mining and exploration businesses that once operated out
of this property. VAG purchased the property from GAF corporation, which,
along with a predecessor corporation, operated the mine from 1936-1975.
Currently the mine site consists of a network of mine and mill buildings
and structures and two significant mill tailings piles estimated at
29-30 million tons.
The ANR has been investigating this property due
to significant erosion of the asbestos waste piles migrating offsite
into nearby streams and wetlands. In 2005-2007, the ANR conducted
biological and chemical assessments within the Lamoille River and
Missisquoi River watersheds which revealed impairment to the aquatic
biota and water quality. This impairment includes a wetland located
one mile downstream. A copy of this report is available in the Reports section below.
In 2007-08, the US Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) performed interim measures to minimize the amount of asbestos
tailings migrating offsite. EPA constructed berms and sedimentation
basins onsite to capture the tailings. A copy of the Final Pollution
Report is available in the Letter/Reports section below. Additional
information regarding this program is available online at http://www.epa.gov/region1/er/index.html#VAG EPA is currently evaluating this site to determine
eligibility for Superfund listing.
In the meantime, the State of Vermont is collaborating
with federal agencies to evaluate current risks to the communities and
recommends that public access is restricted from the site.