October 2012 - The final treatment of the Milltown sediments began this year at the BP- ARCO Waste Repository and will continue through 2013. The Milltown sediments came from the cleanup of the Milltown Reservoir Superfund site and cover about 660 acres of the repository. . It was originally thought that the sediments contained enough organic material to work as a cover soil, but failure to grow adequate vegetation led to dust storms and public frustration. BP was still on the hook to develop a solution, so after a series of greenhouse studies, they proposed a new design to deal with the sediments. Lime will be applied and tilled into the top 6-inches of the sediments, then a 12-inch clean soil cap will be installed and re-vegetated with the help of compost and fertilizer.

October 2012 - The final treatment of the Milltown sediments began this year at the BP- ARCO Waste Repository and will continue through 2013. The Milltown sediments came from the cleanup of the Milltown Reservoir Superfund site and cover about 660 acres of the repository. . It was originally thought that the sediments contained enough organic material to work as a cover soil, but failure to grow adequate vegetation led to dust storms and public frustration. BP was still on the hook to develop a solution, so after a series of greenhouse studies, they proposed a new design to deal with the sediments. Lime will be applied and tilled into the top 6-inches of the sediments, then a 12-inch clean soil cap will be installed and re-vegetated with the help of compost and fertilizer.

BP Arco Waste Repository

 

 

An aerial view of the BP – ARCO Waste Repository the final resting place for the Milltown sediments (photo Mike Kustudia)

 

 

 

 

The contract for the work was awarded to Jordan Contracting in late June. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will be responsible for oversight of the work.
Ken Brockman, BLM, provided details regarding the cleanup. “Haul road preparation and stripping of the borrow area began in June,” stated Brockman, “In July cover soil was excavated from a soil borrow on the east side of I-90 and taken to the site. Lime amendment and tillage of the Milltown materials began in early August.”
Only about 35 acres of the site have been treated as of mid September, but treatment and cover will go faster once the operation moves closer to the haul road. The timeline for completion of the project is December 2013. Following the treatment the site must meet specific vegetation growth cover in order to protect the sediments and prevent contamination of the surrounding environment.

“The work seems to be going really well,” Carl Nyman, Anaconda – Deer Lodge County Superfund Coordinator passed along, “the contractors have been stockpiling soil and lime and are only leaving about 3 acres open at a time,” in order to minimize the potential for dust and air contamination. Mr. Nyman said he hasn’t heard of any complaints about the work and that the haul road has been improved to accommodate the equipment that is being used. Work will continue through this year as the weather allows and pick up again next year.

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