Montana Public Radio

Montana Department of Environmental Quality

Nora Saks


  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.

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality announced Thursday that the Lower Gallatin Watershed is its next priority basin. This means hundreds of thousands of dollars will become available to address pollution in over half of the watershed’s major streams and rivers.

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality is seeking public comment on a proposal to remediate pollution from wastewater facilities at Units 1 and 2 at the Colstrip Steam Electric Station.

Uptown Butte, MT.
Mike Albans / Montana Public Radio

Federal officials Thursday revealed more specifics about the timeline and process surrounding the final deal for Butte’s Superfund cleanup, although some details are still murky.

In mid-October, the parties in charge of the cleanup announced they had reached agreement on a final, legally binding deal, marking a turning point in the Mining City’s three-decades-long Superfund saga.

The town of Libby.
courtesy

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took another step this week toward transferring oversight of the Libby Asbestos Superfund Site to the state. EPA released the first of two plans outlining how the state will mitigate the spread of any remaining contamination in Libby and Troy.


Coal workers in Montana are out of a job until a Navajo-owned company and the state settle a dispute over the extent to which the Tribe is subject to state environmental law.

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