Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to site content




  1. Based on the information currently available, ATSDR concluded that the Annie Creek Mine Tailings Site represents a no apparent health hazard since the data do not indicate exposure to contaminants at levels of health concern are occurring.
  2. There is potential for vacationers and seasonal residents to be exposed to arsenic in surface water, groundwater, sediments, and biota. However, based on the arsenic concentrations reported in each of these media, no adverse health effects are expected to occur in individuals (seasonal residents or vacationers) from ingestion of these media on a seasonal basis. Dermal contact with arsenic contaminated surface water or sediments is not considered a significant pathway of exposure since absorption of arsenic thorough the skin would be minimal.
  3. There were no adverse health problems reported in regard to the arsenic contamination in Annie or Spearfish Creek.
  4. The Spearfish municipal water system was not and is not currently impacted bycontamination in Annie Creek.


Based on the data reviewed, ATSDR does not recommend any further action at this time.


    In order, to determine if public health actions are needed, ATSDR's Health ActivitiesRecommendation Panel (HARP) evaluated the data and information developed in the AnnieCreek Mine Tailings Public Health Assessment. The HARP recommended that the communitybe provided additional information concerning the potential exposure to arsenic from potablewater and fish.

Public Health Action Plan

Actions Undertaken

  1. ATSDR recommended that groundwater in the alluvium and deep aquifers be monitored todetermine if there is an impact of Reliance Tailings on the water that supplies private wells alongSpearfish Creek. An inventory was conducted to determine the status of residential propertiesaround the Reliance Tailing Site (vacation versus permanent residence); all domestic wells wereinventoried (location, potential use; screened interval; and water quality); groundwater in Annie and Spearfish Creek was monitored.

  2. ATSDR recommended that the total arsenic concentration of edible species of fish from Annieand Spearfish Creek be monitored to ensure the quality of fish was safe for the recreational consumer. Fish were sampled in Annie and Spearfish Creek.

  3. A nontime critical removal action for Annie Creek Mine Tailings Site was initiated by thepotentially responsible parties. The removal action included covering exposed areas of arsenic contaminated tailings with clean soil, regenerating the cover, establishing drainage controls todivert surface water runoff, and instituting controls which may include deed and accessrestrictions, land use limitations, groundwater restrictions, surface water monitoring, and public information programs to address potential human health risks posed by the site (15).

Actions Planned

  1. ATSDR recommends no further actions at this time.


Environmental Assessor

Joe Hughart, MS, MPH, PG
Environmental Health Specialist
Remedial Programs Branch

Health Assessor

Tina Forrester, Ph.D.
Remedial Programs Branch

Regional Representative

Susan Muza, CHMS
Regional Representative
Office of Regional Services


  1. Hazard Ranking System Documentation Record, Annie Creek Mine Tailings Site, EPARegion VIII, Denver, Colorado, 1991.

  2. Progress Report # 18. Reliance Tailings Response Action. Aug. 10, 1994.

  3. Progress Report # 19. Reliance Tailings Response Action. Sept. 10, 1994.

  4. Progress report # 20. Reliance Tailings Response Action. Oct. 10, 1994.

  5. Progress report # 21. Reliance Tailings Response Action. Nov. 10, 1994.

  6. Vital Statistics of the United States, US Public Health Service, National Center for Health Statistics, Hyattsville, Maryland, 1988.

  7. Geologic Highway Map, Northern Great Plains Region, American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1989.

  8. Census of the Population, US Census Bureau, US Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1981.

  9. National Water Summary for 1984, US Geologic Survey Water Supply Paper 2275, USGovernment Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1985.

  10. McDonald,J.C., Gibbs, G.W., Liddell, D.K., and McDonald, A.D. Mortality after long exposure to cummingtonite-grunerite. American Review of Respiratory Disease, Vol. 118, 1978.

  11. Gilliam, J.D., Dement, J.M., Lemen, R.A., Wagoner, J.K., Archer, V.E., and Blejer, H.P.Mortality patterns among hard rock gold miners exposed to an asbestiform mineral. Annals ofNew York Academy of Sciences. Vol 271, 1976.

  12. Final Draft: Work Plan for Remedial Investigation, Reliance Tailings, Annie Creek TailingsSuperfund Site, Lead, South Dakota, prepared by Wharf Resources and Adrian BrownConsultants, May 18, 1992.

  13. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Aluminum. Atlanta,Georgia:ATSDR, July 1992, DHHS Publication no. TP-91/01.

  14. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Arsenic.Atlanta, Georgia: ATSDR, March 1989, DHHS Publication no. (PHS) TP-88/02.

  15. Mariah Associates, Inc. September 1990, Aquatic report for Annie Creek-Spearfish Creek drainage area: Report for Wharf Resources.

  16. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Draft Toxicological Profile for Manganese. Atlanta, Georgia, ATSDR 1990.

  17. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Draft Toxicological Profile for Vanadium. Atlanta, Georgia, 1990.

  18. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for zinc (Update). Atlanta, Georgia: ATSDR, May 1994, DHHS Publication no. TP-93/15.

  19. Action Memorandum (Feb. 1, 1994) Request for PRP Non-time critical removal action for Annie Creek Mine Tailings Site, Lawrence County, South Dakota.

Next Section          Table of Contents The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 4770 Buford Hwy NE, Atlanta, GA 30341
Contact CDC: 800-232-4636 / TTY: 888-232-6348

A-Z Index

  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. E
  6. F
  7. G
  8. H
  9. I
  10. J
  11. K
  12. L
  13. M
  14. N
  15. O
  16. P
  17. Q
  18. R
  19. S
  20. T
  21. U
  22. V
  23. W
  24. X
  25. Y
  26. Z
  27. #