Montana Public Radio

Montana Department of Environmental Quality

Black Butte Copper Project, project facilities site plan.
Montana DEQ

Operators of a central Montana copper mine will be required to post a $4.6 million bond before construction can begin, according to state officials. The Independent Record reported it will be the first of multiple bonds the company will need to pay to mine near White Sulphur Springs.

The state of Montana released its draft environmental assessment for a waste disposal facility expansion at a hardrock mine in south central Montana and now seeks public comment.

Libby Montana.
Nora Saks / Montana Public Radio

The state of Montana was slated to take control of part of the Libby Asbestos Superfund site from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on April 1. But because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, that transfer is being postponed indefinitely.

Edit March 23: A correction version of this story clarified the judgement of the 2011 case mentioned.

Environmental activist groups representing 16 young Montanans are suing the state in hopes of changing Montana climate policies.

DEQ said Tuesday morning after the story had been published that the agency has decided to cancel the in-person meetings for the Smith River Algae Study and will offer the Helena meeting as a live stream on YouTube channel.">DEQ's YouTube channel, Wednesday from 3-5 pm.

Updates on an ongoing study of algae growth on the iconic Smith River are expected from the Montana Department of Environmental Quality this week. Details on the study will be released at public meetings in Helena and White Sulphur Springs.

The soil and groundwater at the Montana Pole and Treating Site south and west of Butte are contaminated with pentachlorophenols and dioxins from more than 40 years of wood treatment at the abandoned facility. February 11, 2020.
Nora Saks / Montana Public Radio


State environmental regulators say a former wood treatment plant in Butte needs a new cleanup plan to make the toxic site safer for both people and groundwater.

The State of Montana Friday redrafted several proposed regulations for the disposal of radioactive oil waste following widespread public concern.

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality is in the process of writing its first statewide regulatory guidelines for the disposal of Technologically-Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials, or TENORM.

The department released a draft last year.

Montana regulators say they expect to have $400 million in bonds in place by July to cover future cleanup costs at the Colstrip power plant.

 

But state lawmakers expressed skepticism over that time frame after regulators failed to meet previous deadlines to secure the money.

Montana has joined two dozen states and the District of Columbia in requiring all schools to test drinking water for lead.

Montana officials say a Navajo Nation company may continue operating a coal mine for two more months amid negotiations over the terms of a state permit.

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