October 21, 2008

Deer Lodge Meeting

About 40 people gathered last night at the Deer Lodge Community Center to hear about the Superfund cleanup of the upper Clark Fork River, an effort that begins in the Trestle area of town.

The Montana DEQ (Dept. of Environmental Quality) offered a brief overview and took questions from the audience. The cleanup, which will cost an estimated $123 million and take 10 to 12 years, calls for the treatment and/or removal of mine tailings from the flood plain and stabilization of streambanks. The project will be led by the DEQ, with EPA oversight, and carried out by a variety of contractors, largely from western Montana.

This week, the DEQ began sampling sediments in the Trestle area for arsenic and metals to determine the extent and design of the cleanup that will begin in 2009. Next up, the DEQ will begin sampling along the East Side Road, an area that had been flood irrigated with contaminated water and sediments.

See the fact-filled DEQ powerpoint presentation (PDF 2.4 MB) and the Missoulian for background coverage of the meeting. (Photo: Mary Ann Dunwell, DEQ.)
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