Montana Public Radio

Montana Department of Environmental Quality

The first school to submit its results under Montana’s new lead monitoring program tested positive for lead.

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) says 36 different water fixtures at Hedges Elementary School in Kalispell showed at least some level of lead, which can enter water through old pipes.

DEQ says children are most vulnerable to lead exposure and the effects can include damage to the brain, red blood cells and kidneys.

Montana Sets Reclamation Plan For Mine Outside Helena

Jul 24, 2020

The State of Montana finalized a reclamation plan for a mine in western Montana on July 24.

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality issued a final decision that will include the permanent diversion of Clancy Creek away from the eroding edges of Montana Tunnel Mining’s inactive mine south of Helena.

Tunnels Mining installed a pipe to temporarily divert Clancy Creek roughly seven years ago. DEQ Mining Bureau Chief Dan Walsh says that’s when part of the pit wall collapsed.

“It put the Clancy Creek channel in danger of going directly into the pit," he said.

The Gallatin City-County Health Department recently detected a toxic algae bloom in a privately-owned pond in Bozeman. It’s the first one in the county this year.

The State of Montana last week finalized its first set of comprehensive rules for disposal of oil and gas production waste.


State regulators Wednesday will start considering whether Montana’s largest electric utility should be able to pass costs on to customers for money it lost in the summer of 2018.

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

Conservation groups want a Montana court to cancel the approval of the long-disputed Black Butte copper mine, saying it would pollute a tributary of the Smith River, one of the state's most popular recreational rivers.

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.