Klau and Buena Vista Mines Public Health Assessment

Timeframe:  2006 to 2010

The Klau and Buena Vista Mines are located in San Luis Obispo County, 200 miles north of Los Angeles. The mining site extends over 250 acres, including 5 miles of underground channels.  The mines have contributed elevated levels of mercury in local streams, rivers, and lakes waters; in 2006, the Klau and Buena Vista Mines were named to the US EPA’s National Priority List.  Working in collaboration with the California Department of Public Health, IAI staff conducted a public health assessment of the mines.  We identified significant exposure pathways through inhalation and consumption of locally caught fish.  IAI recommended remedial actions be taken to reduce or eliminate potential exposures.