MTPR

Silver Bow Creek

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

This week, locals in Butte will have another chance to help design what the major creek corridors in town will look like after the Superfund cleanup is over.

The Upper Silver Bow and Blacktail Creek corridors, which run through the center of Butte, will probably look a lot different about five years from now.

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

This week, locals in Butte will have a chance to help shape the designs for what the major creek corridors in town will look like after the Superfund cleanup is over.

Governor Bullock shovels the first dirt at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Parrot tailing removal project in Butte, June 2018.
Nora Saks

On Thursday morning, close to a hundred people gathered at an old ball field across from Butte’s Civic Center and circled around haul trucks and excavators fit for Paul Bunyan, if he was a miner, and not a lumberjack.

Both the crowd and the heavy machinery were there for the groundbreaking ceremony on the Parrot tailings removal project.

Butte-Silver Bow County's Superfund Coordinator Jon Sesso stands in front of the overlook at Foreman's Park in Butte in June 2018.
Nora Saks / Montana Public Radio

  Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency unveiled some details about the proposed Superfund cleanup for Butte. This week I had a chance to interview Butte-Silver Bow County Superfund coordinator Jon Sesso at Foreman’s Park in Butte to find out what that plan might mean for the town.

EPA Region 8 Administrator Doug Benevento talks to MTPR's Nora Saks in Butte.
Eric Whitney


  In January, after 12 years of secret negotiations, top officials from the US Environmental Protection Agency came to Butte and said they now have a plan to finish the Mining City’s Superfund cleanup in just six years. They said the parties responsible for that had reached agreement on what it should include and who would pay for it.

EPA

A top official from the Environmental Protection Agency will be in Butte Wednesday to explain the proposed Superfund cleanup plan that was made partially public by a federal judge last week.

The final cleanup agreement, or consent decree, will cover most of the city and its land and water. The EPA has been negotiating it with state and local governments and industry in secret for the last 12 years. Now, those parties can share details of the plan for finishing a big portion of Butte’s Superfund cleanup.

Uptown Butte, MT.
Mike Albans / Montana Public Radio

The gag order on the Butte Superfund cleanup agreement was partially lifted by a federal judge yesterday. Susan Dunlap, the Montana Standard’s natural resources reporter spoke with MTPR’s Nora Saks about what that means for the mining city.

The Last First Mile

May 21, 2018
The Last First Mile
Nora Saks

A documentary about why the first mile of Silver Bow Creek in Butte was left for last to be cleaned up, and what a crew of feisty locals are doing about it.

Albert "Kel" Kelly, (left) head of EPA's Superfund task force, and Doug Benevento updated the public on Butte Superfund cleanup issues in Butte, MT, April 11, 2018.
Nora Saks

Top national, regional and local officials from the Environmental Protection Agency made a stop in Butte on Wednesday to update the public on a laundry list of Superfund agency items. 

That included the gag order on the "conceptual agreement" reached in late January by the parties responsible for cleaning up the Butte Hill and upper Silver Bow Creek. 

The Berkeley pit in Butte, Montana, as seen from above.
NASA (CC-BY-2)

The mining companies in charge of the Berkeley Pit are going to start pumping, treating and discharging the water in the former open pit copper mine into Silver Bow Creek five years earlier than planned. Susan Dunlap is reporting that story for the Montana Standard in Butte. She spoke to MTPR's Nora Saks.

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