MTPR

water

Something odd is happening to streams and rivers on the high plains of Kansas and Colorado. Some have disappeared.

"We would go and visit these streams, and in many cases it's like a dirt bike channel. It's no longer functioning as a stream," says Joshuah Perkin, a biologist at Texas A&M University who studies the fish that live in these streams.

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox cheered the Trump administration's rollback Thursday of an Obama-era clean water regulation.

The 2015 Waters of the United States rule was designed to protect many American wetlands and streams from pollution, but opponents argued it was too restrictive.

The World Health Organization says there's not enough evidence to conclude that microplastics — which exist nearly everywhere in the environment and show up in drinking water — pose any risk to human health, but it cautions that more research is needed to draw firm conclusions.

Fourteen Montana communities will receive a total of $6.5 million of federal funds this year for local infrastructure, housing development and job creation projects. That’s almost a million dollars over last year.

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.

Current snow water equivalent, basin percentage of normal, June 1, 2019.
NRCS Montana Snow Survey Staff / USDA

Montana’s latest water supply outlook forecast is in and paints a fairly encouraging picture. 

The Bozeman-based Natural Resources Conservation Service says the water supply in most Montana basins is in pretty good shape as we head into the hot summer months.

The Berkeley Pit.
Nora Saks / Montana Public Radio

Atlantic Richfield is proposing to build a new water treatment plant to further lower the level of the toxic lake inside the Berkeley Pit, in case the tailings dam that sits directly above it ever fails.

A boat at the Flathead Lake Biological Station.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

The Flathead Lake Biological Station added a new monitoring site in Polson Bay last month that could help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species and generate valuable information about the ecosystem.

Jim Elser, director of the Station, says near Polson the lake is shallower and warmer than at the other monitoring station, and sees different kinds of use.

Ron Burns was among a half dozen people to speak in support of the Black Butte Copper Project during a public meeting in White Sulphur Springs April 30, 2019.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

Around 60 people sat on the bleachers of the White Sulphur Springs high school gym Tuesday night, 15 miles south of where a proposed underground mine could remove more than 14 million of tons of copper-enriched rock from the earth.

The meeting was the last of three for public input on the state’s draft environmental impact statement on the controversial Black Butte Mining Project, located on private land near the Little Belt Mountains.

Retired hydrogeologist Joe Griffin stands next to a groundwater sampling well in Butte's Upper Silver Bow Creek corridor. January 24, 2018.
Nora Saks / Montana Public Radio

Last week the Environmental Protection Agency released the changes they want to make to the 2006 legal Record of Decision (ROD) which governs the Superfund cleanup of the Butte Hill and Upper Silver Bow Creek corridor.

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