This week, Butte residents will get an up-close look at what the city’s major creek corridors could look like in the future, once the Superfund cleanup is finished.
This summer and fall, the parties in charge of Butte’s Superfund cleanup have been holding a series of public workshops to design what the Silver Bow and Blacktail Creek corridors in the center of town will be used for after the cleanup is over. Now, they’re ready to unveil their comprehensive land use plan for the creek areas at a culminating workshop and presentation this week.
“If you look at it from a planning perspective, and the future of the community, I don’t know if there’s going to be a more significant change coming to Butte any time soon,” says Josh Bryson, the operations project manager with Atlantic Richfield, the BP-owned company on the hook for most of Butte’s Superfund cleanup.
Over the last few months, Atlantic Richfield has been working closely with Butte-Silver Bow and a landscape architect firm to gather and synthesize the community’s ideas and vision for the creek corridors.
Their plan includes swaths of green space, parks, trails, an amphitheater, an event plaza, a fishing pond and other naturalized water features. All that’s mapped onto the basic remedy, which involves removing historic-mine waste near the creeks and managing dirty surface and groundwater in the corridor.
Bryson says, as far as funding goes, under the final cleanup deal currently being negotiated, his company is picking up the tab.
“The construction, the planning, the execution of the work is really by Atlantic Richfield Company in some regard. And then the future operations and maintenance, that will be an amendment to the allocation agreement between Atlantic Richfield and Butte-Silver Bow. So this is not going to encumber the taxpayer, the ratepayer in Butte-Silver Bow whatsoever,” Bryson says.
The community design workshop is on Thursday at 6 p.m. at Butte Brewing Company.