MTPR

Montana Department of Environmental Quality

Mine headframes in uptown Butte, MT.
Josh Burnham

This week, the parties in charge of the Superfund cleanup of the Butte Hill and urban creek corridors agreed on a final cleanup deal, marking a turning point in the Mining City’s decades long Superfund saga.

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

Butte mining company Montana Resources now has the go-ahead from state officials to expand its waste storage facility northeast of town and the Berkeley Pit.

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issued its final decision Friday allowing the copper mining company to build the Yankee Doodle Tailings Impoundment 50 feet higher.

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality opened a 30-day public comment period Tuesday for a proposed major revision at Spring Creek Coal Mine in southeast Montana. The revision could allow about 72 million tons of coal to be mined.

Montana proposed regulations on Friday that outline what facilities need to do to dispose of radioactive waste while also monitoring for environmental side effects.


The state expects to release final details of plans to clean up groundwater contaminated by toxic coal ash at the Colstrip power plant next month.

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

Copper mining company Montana Resources is now one step away from receiving approval from state regulators to expand its permanent mine tailings storage facility in Butte.

Since 1986, Montana Resources (MR) has been sending the slurry of waste from its open pit copper and molybdenum mine in Butte up to the Yankee Doodle Tailings Impoundment, which sits uphill and northeast of the Berkeley Pit.

The Cabinet Mountains as seen from Highway 56 near Noxon, MT.
U.S. Forest Service Northern Region (PD)

The proposed Montanore copper and silver mine in the Cabinet Mountains has experienced another setback. A state district court judge found Friday that a state-issued water quality permit violated state and federal water quality regulations.

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency official says a Montana area emitting toxic vapors is a candidate to become a federal Superfund site.

The Billings Gazette reports contaminants from old dry cleaning solvents are evaporating at several spots in an 855-acre (355-hectare) area in Billings.

Nora Saks

The company that operates the active copper mine in Butte, Montana Resources, is seeking permission to expand its tailings dam, so it can keep mining. But Atlantic Richfield, which shares responsibility for the Berkeley Pit, says one day the dam could collapse, fill the pit and destroy Butte if more isn’t done. Nora Saks sat down with the Montana Standard’s environmental reporter, Susan Dunlap, to find out more.

Water faucet.
(PD)

A warning for water customers in the Wye Area west of Missoula not to consume drinking water was lifted Friday.

Wye Area Water System determined during a routine monthly test that a water storage tank was illegally accessed and could have had unknown contaminants.

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