Deadwood slag pile collapses into Whitewood Creek

A portion of a highly toxic slag pile in repose below Deadwood has collapsed into Whitewood Creek. The force of the cave-in caused ejecta to partially block the adjacent roadway and has dammed the creek for approximately thirty feet.

South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks has been alerted.

How this thing has gone ignored for at least nine Republican administrations remains a mystery.

UPDATE, Monday, 2:40PM:

Recall that a major casino was once proposed for the uppermost portion of this pile and that Kevin Costner has been a player in its history.

It appears to me that activity by a landowner above may have contributed to the slide. An iron fence, barely visible in above photo, had fallen over the side and has since been removed.

Stan Michals from GFP called me and said he had only just heard of the incident from my voicemail to him. He said DENR has dispatched an inspector and GFP will act on its recommendations.

DENR's words to Michals were that the metals in the slag are "not very mobile" and "they don't immediately impact the fishery."

It is unknown which agency is at the lead. Michals does not know who will act to remove the slag from the creek.

Update, the Black Hills Pioneer has a story linked here.


Anonymous said...

Where on Whitewood Creek did this happen? Has the cleanup started yet, or is the creek still dammed by slag?

larry kurtz said...

Nothing has been done as of 6AM this morning. The creek pushed through the dam spewing slag down the streambed.

larry kurtz said...


Anonymous said...

Is this the same stuff that the EPA had Homestake clean up in the 80s and 90s? What did the GFP say when you talked with them?

larry kurtz said...

As of this posting, DENR, BoR, and EPA had not been notified. Awaiting comment from GFP and City of Deadwood as event took place within city limits.

Just minutes before my Saturday post, the incident was reported to Lawrence County dispatch who said they would send a deputy.