MTPR

Environmental Protection Agency

Federal Officials Find Contamination In Crow Water System

Dec 13, 2018
Crow Tribe.
Josh Burnham / MTPR

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Federal investigators say tests results on a public water system serving 1,300 residents on Montana's Crow Indian Reservation have indicated fecal material contamination that exceeds safety standards.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Inspector General said in a memo released Thursday that the contamination was found in tests conducted in April and May on the Crow Agency Water System.

Giant piles of slag sit on along Highway 1 on the way into Anaconda, MT, July 11, 2018. Slag is a byproduct of copper smelting.
Nora Saks

A federal judge has lifted a gag order on the Anaconda Superfund cleanup. That means that after more than a decade of secrecy, Anaconda residents will soon be able to learn some details about the Superfund cleanup deal in the works for the Smelter City.

The Washoe Smelter Stack in Anaconda.
Nora Saks / Montana Public Radio

Anaconda residents are one step closer to finding out more details about the final Superfund cleanup deal and plan that’s been under wraps for the last four months.

M-44 cyanide bomb. When the M-44 trap is set, only the capsule holder and capsule protrude above ground level.
Guy Connely - U.S. Department of Agriculture

The Environmental Protection Agency has denied a petition from an environmental organization to ban M-44 devices, known as cyanide bombs, on public lands.

The EPA responded that it will not take immediate action to ban M-44s as requested, but will continue with its normal registration review process. This means the devices could be banned in the future.

Silver Bow Creek in Butte, Montana.
Nora Saks / MTPR

The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to waive state water quality standards for a portion of Butte’s Superfund cleanup.

If the final Superfund cleanup deal currently being negotiated in Butte goes through, extensive work is planned to clean up and protect the major creek corridors in town.


Governor Steve Bullock has appointed a former liaison in the Obama White House to a state cabinet position leading the Montana Department of Environmental Quality. 

Cindy Perdue-Dolan (L) a field representative with Senator Daines' office looks on as Sister Mary Jo MacDonald shows pictures of the historic Upper Silver Bow Creek corridor. Members of ROCC and Montana's Board of Investments are also pictured.
Nora Saks / MTPR

At sunrise on Halloween, the Butte Archives conference room was full of dozens of people dressed not in scary costumes - but in suits.

All of the major players who are brokering Butte’s final Superfund cleanup deal were there - including elected officials, top staff and attorneys from local and state government, Atlantic Richfield Company, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Drinking fountain.
Joseph Thomas Photography / iStock

State agencies are working on a proposed rule change that early next year would require every public school in the state to test drinking water for lead. One of them, Department of Environmental Quality, also proposes funnelling some of its funding into new grants to help schools pay for testing and remediation.

Headframe of the Original Mine in Butte, MT.
Nora Saks

This week, Butte residents will have another chance to influence the direction of the second Superfund-related health study currently underway. MTPR's Nora Saks has more on the public workshop coming up Tuesday night.

Every five years, the Environmental Protection Agency requires the parties responsible for Butte’s Superfund cleanup to conduct a health study and look at how well the cleanup is protecting locals from exposure to toxic heavy metals in the environment.

An oily sheen on the shoreline of Flathead Lake near Somers, MT, May 2017.
Nicky Ouellet

A proposal to ban new groundwater wells on the north end of Flathead Lake due to pollution concerns is moving forward.

The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation held a hearing Tuesday on a proposal to expand a ban on new groundwater wells on two additional properties near the former Somers Tie Plant.

Pages