MTPR

Butte Montana

The Parrot Tailings removal project is underway in Butte. September 2018.
Nora Saks

Near Butte’s Civic Center, a massive construction project is going on across the street, in the heart of town. Mammoth excavators gouge out a colossal hole in the ground. Jumbo haul trucks whisk 70 ton loads of chewed-up earth away on repeat.

Yankee Doodle Tailings Impoundment. Butte, MT. Oct. 3, 2018.
Nora Saks / Montana Public Radio

Thursday night, state environmental regulators are holding a public input meeting in Butte on Montana Resource’s application to expand the tailings impoundment next to their active copper mine there.

The viewing stand at the Berkeley Pit in September.
Nora Saks / MTPR

Construction on a long-awaited water treatment facility that will pump and treat toxic water from the Berkeley Pit officially began Monday in Butte.

Butte-Area Surface Water Features And Drainages.
Montana DEQ

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality wants public feedback on a mining company’s year old plan to expand the Yankee Doodle Tailings Impoundment above Butte.

Montana Resources wants to raise the height of the impoundment by 45 to 75 feet over about 336 acres.

Nick Mott

The latest fundraising reports say opponents of a ballot initiative aimed at protecting Montana waterways from mine pollution have raised about 25 percent more money than its supporters, despite not taking in any cash in August.

Covellite Theatre
CIFF

The third annual Covellite International Film Festival kicks off Wednesday. It runs through Sunday and brings independent filmmakers from all over the world to Montana.

EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler outside Anaconda, Sept. 7, 2018. Behind him, L to R: Anaconda-Deer Lodge County Superfund Coordinator Carl Nyman, MT A.G. Tim Fox, EPA Regional Adm. Doug Benevento, County CEO Bill Everett, Sen. Steve Daines
Eric Whitney

"I’m very happy to be here. This is a historic occasion," U.S. Senator Steve Daines said at a press conference in Butte Friday morning.

He was introducing the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, who, at his invitation, was visiting Superfund sites in Butte and Anaconda. The last time the top boss of the EPA did that was 28 years earlier.

L to R, Butte Superfund Activist Fritz Dailey, US Senator Steve Daines and Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler at the confluence of Blacktail and Silver Bow Creeks in Butte, September 7, 2018.
Eric Whitney / Montana Public Radio

The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency visited the Superfund sites in Butte and Anaconda Friday. The last time the head of the agency did so was 28 years ago.

Andrew Wheeler was named acting administrator of the EPA in July, following the departure of Scott Pruitt amid ethics scandals.

Bill MacGregor and Janice Hogan are the vice president and coordinator of the Citizens Technical Environmental Committee in Butte, seen in this photo from June 6, 2018.
Nora Saks

Billie Richardson is chatting with customers at Suited For Success, a small non-profit thrift store she runs in Uptown Butte. Richardson is 74 years-old. She was raised here, and for a while, moved around.

"I’ve lived a lot of places but I always come back because this is home," says Richardson. "Butte’s the last best place.”

Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.
Montana Department of Labor and Industry

The Chief of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will be in Butte and Anaconda Friday, Senator Steve Daines announced Tuesday.  

Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler will tour Superfund sites and meet with local leaders and community members in the Mining and Smelter cities.

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