The Peter Naoroz property is located 4 miles southeast of downtown Juneau on Gastineau Channel, approximately 1,000 feet southeast of the Sheep Creek estuary. The estuary is partly formed by and impacted by mine wastes and mill tailings resulting from mining and milling activities at the Gastineau Mine in the Sheep Creek watershed. Tailings associated with mining and milling in the surrounding area are suspected to be present on the Peter Naoroz property and the adjacent beach.
Tailings from the Gastineau Mine were disposed of from 1912 to 1920 at the mouth of the Sheep Creek watershed where it empties into Gastineau Channel. The tailings disposal area encompasses about 50 acres of fine sediment.
In 1987, Echo Bay Mines, with plans to reopen the A-J Mine, sampled the tailings and found elevated levels of arsenic and lea The initial data collected by Echo Bay Mines prompted the USEPA to seek an additional investigation of the area. Mercury was also suspected in the tailings because of the past use of mercury amalgamation in the area. The additional environmental work ultimately included both a preliminary assessment and a site investigation by the consulting firm Ecology and Environment (E&E) that evaluated areas upgradient of the Gastineau Mine tailings (ADEC, 2014).