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Site Overview

The Copper Basin Mining District Site (Copper Basin) is in southeast Tennessee in Polk County, and northern Georgia in Fannin County, near the North Carolina state border.

Copper Basin is the site of extensive former copper and sulfur mining operations that dated back to the early 1800s. For more than 150 years, many companies and individuals were involved in various mining, refining and manufacturing operations which resulted in environmental degradation to portions of the Copper Basin, including the North Potato Creek Watershed, the Davis Mill Creek Watershed and parts of the Ocoee River.

Neither Glenn Springs nor its parent company, Occidental Petroleum Corporation, were ever engaged in any mining activities in the Copper Basin. Occidental Petroleum acquired Cities Service, Inc. after all mining operations had been sold to the Tennessee Chemical Company. Cities Service had acquired the Copper Basin assets from the Tennessee Corporation, which operated the Tennessee Chemical Company. More information...

Although various government agencies and private parties have attempted to partially revegetate the area, the severity of the ecological damage made remediation difficult.

In 2001, an unprecedented agreement between Glenn Springs Holdings, Inc. (a wholly owned subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum Corporation), the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the parties agreed to work together with the common goal of ultimate environmental remediation and redevelopment of the Copper Basin. Although initial remediation work by Glenn Springs Holdings began more than 20 years ago, the formal agreement was not created and approved until 2001.

Areas included in the Copper Basin Site include:


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