The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is seeking public comment on the proposal to remove a cooling pond and berm along the Blackfoot River at the Stimson Mill in Bonner.

In a press release, the DEQ says it and the Montana Department of Justice (DOJ) have agreed to settle a state lawsuit against Stimson Lumber Company as part of a proposed Administrative Order on Consent between the state agencies and the company. The proposed Order requires the company to remove a cooling pond and a large berm built out into the Blackfoot River at Stimson's former lumber mill in Bonner, Montana. The berm and pond were built in the mid-1900s of timber cribs and soil placed in the river. The DEQ discovered polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and petroleum contamination in the cooling pond and portions of the berm in 2006.

The Stimson cleanup, while proximate to the Milltown Superfund site, is unrelated to the effort.

Read the DEQ press release here and have a look at the proposed order and work plan are here.

In addition, copies of the documents are available at the Missoula City-County Library, the Mansfield Library at U of M, the Bonner School Library, and DEQ's Remediation Division Offices at 1100 North Last Chance Gulch in Helena. Information can also be obtained by calling 1-800-246-8198.

Written comments may either be e-mailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or mailed to Keith Large, Project Officer, DEQ, P.O. Box 200901, Helena, MT, 59620-0901. To be considered, comments must be received by March 31, 2010. The DEQ, DOJ and EPA will make a final decision on the proposed Order after considering all written comments received during the comment period. Under the proposed Work Plan, cleanup would occur between September and November 2010.

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