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Sites Management
Vermont Asbestos Group Mine

Site Description and History:

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.

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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.

Click for State contacts

Click on image to open an Adobe PDF

2/12 Op-Ed from Commissioner Mears
7/11 Letter From DEC Commissioner Mears
06/11 VAG Fact Sheet
07/11 VAG FAQ's
06/11 Perimeter Air Monitoring 2010
05/11 VT DEC Proposal for US EPA RE-Power
04/10 Case for Superfund
03/10 Perimeter Air Monitoring 2009
12/10 Data Collection Remediation Activities Presentation
08/10 ATSDR VAG Data Summary and Findings
Summary of 2009 Biological and Chemical assessments within Burgess Branch, Hutchins Brook, Dark Branch and Gihon watersheds
USGS: Mineralogy of mine waste at the Vermont Asbestos Group mine
Photos: click here

Please visit the links listed below to obtain additional information on asbestos:

Vermont Department of Health
Vermont Geological Survey
United States Geological Survey
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
ATSDR (Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry)

Please contact the people below if you have any questions or concerns:

John Schmeltzer
VT DEC Sites Management Section
1 National Life Drive, Davis 1
Mopntpelier, VT 05620-3704
(802) 249-5620

Linda Elliott
VT DEC Sites Management Section
1 National Life Drive, Davis 1
Mopntpelier, VT 05620-3704
(802) 249-5479

* Documents in PDF format can be viewed on screen, searched and printed. They require the Adobe Acrobat Reader. The reader is available for free from Adobe Corporation web site


VT DEC Waste Management & Prevention Division 1 National Life Drive - Davis 1  Montpelier, VT  05620-3704  Tele: 802-828-1138   Fax: 802-828-1011

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