MTPR

Montana Department of Environmental Quality

Drinking fountain.
Joseph Thomas Photography / iStock

Montana got a failing grade from a national environmental study group Thursday for its lack of policies addressing lead in public schools. 

The second edition of Environment America’s "Get the Lead Out" report, says Montana also received an "F" last time the organization surveyed a number of states, in 2017.

State officials say a proposed expansion to Montana Resources’ tailings impoundment in Butte next to its active copper mine there won’t impact groundwater.

Study: Proposed Copper Mine Won't Harm Popular Montana River

Mar 11, 2019
Black Butte Copper Project, project facilities site plan.
Montana DEQ

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Officials said Monday that a copper mine proposed along a tributary of one of Montana's most popular recreational rivers would cause the river no harm, a conclusion that conservationists question and say will reinvigorate opposition to the plan.

Snow plow. Stock photo.
iStock

Another blast of winter weather was expected to drop up to 8 inches of fresh powder in parts of the Missoula and Bitterroot valleys by Wednesday evening. This just two days after a powerful winter storm buried Hamilton and Stevensville in up to 2 feet of snow.

Hans McPherson at his ranch in the Bitterroot Valley.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

A new federal rule that would roll back Clean Water Act protections across the country opened for public comment last week. If finalized, the rule would abandon enhanced protections the Obama administration proposed for a large portion of Montana’s stream mileage and wetlands.

McGill Hall at the University of Montana.
Edward O'Brien / Montana Public Radio

A campuswide meeting to discuss the decision to abruptly close a busy University of Montana building for the rest of spring semester was peppered with flashes of anger, anxiety and even moments of empathy Friday.

Montana Power Plant Ash Pond Cleanup Could Cost $700M

Jan 31, 2019
Colstrip power plant, Colstrip Montana.
Flicker User ambib (CC-BY-NC)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Department of Environmental Quality estimates that cleaning up three coal ash ponds at the Colstrip power plant will cost as much as $700 million.

Food waste.
iStock/ Animaflora

The state of Montana has won an award for not wasting food. The Department of Environmental Quality and its nonprofit partners kept 829 tons of food from going into landfills in 2017. And for that, the U.S. EPA gave DEQ a 2018 Food Recovery Challenge Regional Award.

Downtown Libby, MT.
libbymt.com

The federal Environmental Protection Agency is preparing to hand off long-term management of the Libby Superfund site to the state in 2020. A state advisory team is getting ready to budget for unforeseen cleanup and monitor the site.

State Rep. Steve Gunderson says the Libby Asbestos Superfund Advisory Team’s goal is to ensure the EPA’s remediation plan lasts into the future, and that homeowners won’t have to pay for any future cleanup.

Montana Mine Expansion Advances Amid Owner's Bankruptcy

Nov 30, 2018
A federal judge in Great Falls Friday said the Trump administration failed to consider the environmental effects of its decision to resume coal sales from federal lands that the Obama administration stopped.
USDA NRCS

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A major coal mine expansion in southeastern Montana received a preliminary green light from state and federal officials on Friday even as the mine's owner remains tied up in bankruptcy proceedings with plans to sell the property.

Officials released an 800-page environmental study of Westmoreland Coal Co.'s expansion of the Rosebud Mine that clears the way for a final decision in coming months.

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