MTPR

Montana Department of Environmental Quality

Lake Koocanusa
Darren Kirby (CC-BY-SA-3)

The U.S. Geological Survey has released a new modeling framework for collection and analysis of selenium data in Lake Koocanusa.

The framework is designed to organize data collected by different agencies using different protocols, with a long-term goal of helping managers develop a common water quality standard for selenium levels in Lake Koocanusa, which straddles the international border.

Sound-Off On Proposed Black Butte Mine Project

Oct 23, 2017
Alan Kirk, mine permitting manager, and Bob Jacko, vice president of operations for Tintina show plans for the Black Butte Mine in July 2015.
Steve Jess

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality is adding an additional public scoping meeting for the proposed Black Butte copper mine outside White Sulphur Springs. That brings the number of scheduled meetings to four.

The first is October 30 in Great Falls. The second will be November 1 in White Sulphur Springs. The third, and newly scheduled meeting will be held in Helena on Monday, November 6. The fourth meeting will be in Livingston on Tuesday, November 7.

Uptown Butte, MT.
Josh Burnham

In Butte, the Environmental Protection Agency now says it's going to take a closer look at a neglected part of the big Superfund site there. But work at another remains stalled. Nora Saks got an update on what is and isn't happening with cleaning up in Butte from David McCumber editor of the Montana Standard.

The Kootenai Bridge over Lake Koocanusa from the east bank.
David M. Carson (CC-BY-SA-4)

 Editor's note: We've corrected part of this story. Read below.

Coal mines in Canada have been sending a harmful heavy metal downstream to northwest Montana for years, but state, tribal, federal and Canadian agencies all have different standards for how much is too much. Those agencies are meeting this week, and speaking with the public to try to come up with common standards.

Montana Department of Environmental Quality

State environmental officials will update Lincoln this evening on a major mine waste clean-up project in the Upper Blackfoot Valley.

The old and creaky Mike Horse Dam once lay at the headwaters of the Blackfoot River. But not anymore. Its removal was part of a $40 million cleanup of the Upper Blackfoot Mining Complex.

Emigrant Peak north of Yellowstone, near the area of a proposed Lucky Minerals mine exploration.
Flickr user Sean Wolf (CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0)

Environmental groups today sued the state of Montana, attempting to block a mining company’s plans to begin exploring for gold and other precious metals in the mountains just north of Yellowstone National Park.

State officials have issued a draft operating permit for an underground copper mine in central Montana that opponents worry could harm one of the state's most popular fly-fishing destinations.

On Thursday, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality held a public hearing on draft rules to oversee the disposal of radioactive oil waste in the state. 

Montana Artesian Water Company.
Nicky Ouellet / MTPR

Plans for a water bottling plant outside Kalispell moved one step closer to fruition Tuesday. The Montana Department of Environmental Quality issued a wastewater discharge permit for the Montana Artesian Water Company. It’s one of two permits the plant needs to open.

For the first time ever, The Montana Department of Environmental Quality has published draft rules overseeing the disposal of radioactive oil waste in the state. But some conservationists say the rules don’t go far enough.

Ed Thamke of the DEQ says radioactive oil waste isn’t as bad as it sounds.

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