MTPR

water pollution

Butte-Area Surface Water Features And Drainages.
Montana DEQ

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality wants public feedback on a mining company’s year old plan to expand the Yankee Doodle Tailings Impoundment above Butte.

Montana Resources wants to raise the height of the impoundment by 45 to 75 feet over about 336 acres.

Bill MacGregor and Janice Hogan are the vice president and coordinator of the Citizens Technical Environmental Committee in Butte, seen in this photo from June 6, 2018.
Nora Saks

Billie Richardson is chatting with customers at Suited For Success, a small non-profit thrift store she runs in Uptown Butte. Richardson is 74 years-old. She was raised here, and for a while, moved around.

"I’ve lived a lot of places but I always come back because this is home," says Richardson. "Butte’s the last best place.”

A screenshot from the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Rock Creek Project. Published March 2018.
Kootenai National Forest / USDA

The Kootenai National Forest approved the first phase of the Rock Creek silver and copper mine near Noxon on Tuesday, but the proposal’s fate remains uncertain due to a legal dispute with state regulators.

The Environmental Protection Agency designated the former Columbia Falls Aluminum Company as an official Superfund site in September 2016.
Courtesy Columbia Falls Aluminum Company

The company responsible for cleanup at the Columbia Falls Aluminum Company Superfund site released results of their site evaluation on Thursday. 

The evaluation confirms that groundwater beneath the former aluminum smelter facility has elevated levels of cyanide, fluoride and other contaminants, leached from legacy landfills used from 1955 until 1980. The studies also indicate that the contamination is not moving toward wells used for drinking water in nearby neighborhoods.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Courtesy EPA

There’s some good news in the latest sampling for contaminants at the Columbia Falls Aluminum Company site on the Flathead River. That’s according to Mike Cirian with the Environmental Protection Agency.

"There wasn’t anything out there that we didn’t expect, and there's no urgent or emergency type responses needed at this time," Cirian says.

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