MTPR

Montana Department of Environmental Quality

Montana Seeks Judge's Order To Ban Mining Company CEO

Jun 25, 2018

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana environmental regulators asked a judge on Monday to ban the head of a giant mining company from exploring or opening any new mines in the state until he is no longer in violation of Montana's "bad actor" law.

Dave Hutchins (L) and Daniel Hogan look over plans for the cleanup and restoration of the SIlver Bow Creek corridor with Julia Crain, a special projects planner with Butte-Silver Bow county's Superfund Division, June 12, 2018.
Nora Saks

Tuesday night the Environmental Protection Agency organized what it called a “public availability session and workshop” in Butte to give locals a different kind of opportunity to learn about the proposed Superfund cleanup that was unveiled last month.

Emigrant Peak in Montana's Paradise Valley. The valley is north of Yellowstone Park near the location of two gold mines proposed in 2015.
Eric Whitney / Montana Public Radio

A Montana judge has chastised state environmental regulators over a mine exploration project near Yellowstone National Park.

The ruling out Park County Wednesday says the Montana Department of Environmental Quality gave Lucky Minerals the go ahead last year to explore for gold in Paradise Valley north of Yellowstone without looking closely enough at whether it would impact sensitive wildlife habitat and water conditions.

RV campsite. (File photo)
(PD)

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality has approved the drinking and wastewater plans for a new RV park proposed for one mile outside the west entrance to Glacier National Park.

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

Montana regulators announced today that an Idaho mining company hoping to develop two mines in northwest Montana has violated state law; an allegation the company denies.

Dioxin contaminated soil at the Montana Pole Plant in Butte, Montana.
Montana DEQ

As the state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) gets closer to finishing the clean-up of dioxin-contaminated soil at Butte’s smallest Superfund site, the Montana Pole Plant, some members of the community are still concerned about the human health risk.

In response, a risk assessment expert visited Butte to break down options for protecting human health with a contaminant that just won’t break down.

A map from the West Glacier RV and Cabin  Village draft environmental assessment showing proposed water and sewer improvements for the project.
Montana DEQ

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story misstated the total number of RV spaces West Glacier RV and Cabin Village plans to develop. The error has been corrected in this copy.

The public has been given longer to comment on part of a big, new RV park outside Glacier National Park that was approved by Flathead County last year.

The state department of Environmental Quality is now considering permits for water, wastewater, storm runoff, and solid waste management from Glacier Park, Inc. The company plans to develop a 102-space RV park with 25 rental cabins.

Algae growth is increasing on Montana’s famed Smith River and scientists don’t know why. So, they’re turning to the public for help.

Excessive algae can deplete oxygen and alter water pH levels, harming fish and other aquatic life in the process. Algae blooms are also a nuisance to humans who encounter them on rivers and lakes.

Big Timber Locals Say DEQ Water Worries Overblown

Nov 27, 2017
McLeod St. in Big Timber, MT.
Matt Blois

Every morning at 6 a.m. a group of men gather at the Frosty Freeze in Big Timber to drink coffee and share gossip. It's a diner, decorated with 1950s Coca Cola posters and old records. A sign hanging near the cash register reads, "Cows may come and cows may go, but the bull in this place goes on forever."

Five men sit at a table near the door, and a waitress provides a continuous stream of hot coffee. She places a plastic pitcher with ice cold tap water in the center of the table. Lately, this coffee group has talked a lot about water.

Gravel mine, file photo.
(PD)

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality is seeking public comment on a proposed gravel pit four miles east of Seeley Lake.

Deer Creek Excavating, LLC, has applied to mine gravel on a 26.5-acre site known as the Cottonwood Pit. A similar application from a different company to mine the Cottonwood Pit drew opposition from locals at the county level last year.

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