Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) hosted a site tour of the Clark Fork River Reach A, Phase 1 Cleanup currently underway as part of the Upper Clark Fork River Basin
Remediation and Restoration Advisory Council meeting on June 19, 2013. Stakeholder tours will be held on a monthly basis through construction season on the 3rd Wednesday of each month.
July 17, 2013 - Montana Governor Steve Bullock visited the Clark Fork River at Warm Springs today to view cleanup activities underway by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Bullock stated, “This cleanup is important to the agricultural heritage of this area.” He also talked about the importance it will play in stimulating the economy and improving the environment. Bullock put the amount of contamination that will be removed into perspective, “If you stacked the waste onto a 100-yard football field it would be 50-feet high.”
Fall 2012 - Summertime along the banks of the Clark Fork River in Deer Lodge finds children enjoying the cool water in the sunshine. This area is called “Bum Bridge” by local folks as it was once home to railroad vagabonds who would enjoy the park-like setting of the area where the railroad crossed the river.
June 2012 - Atlantic Richfield hosted their annual public meeting in June, 2012 to present information to the community related to Warm Springs Ponds (WSPs). Presentations at the meeting were mainly related to water quality – other topics discussed included community education opportunities, recreational and wildlife values of the WSPs, and an evaluation of new modeling tools and treatment alternatives to ensure the ability to meet water quality standards after treatment through the ponds.
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.
Fall 2012 - Now that excavators and dump trucks are gone, and grasses, willows, and trees are slowly taking root, the Milltown Superfund site is looking less like a construction zone, and more like the park it’s about to become. For one hundred years, Milltown Dam straddled the confluence of the Clark Fork and Blackfoot rivers, blocking fish and holding back a century’s worth of polluted mining waste. The 180-acre reservoir behind the dam was full of contaminated sediment—6.6 million cubic yards of it—that washed down from Butte’s copper mines during the record flood of 1908 and stacked up behind the dam. The contaminated sediment, laden with arsenic and copper, poisoned local wells and killed off fish and other aquatic life during high flows and ice jams. Now, thanks to Superfund cleanup, the worst of that is gone. In place of a dam and reservoir, the Clark Fork River meanders naturally across a wide floodplain. What a difference six years has made.
CFRTAC KUFM/Montana Public Radio Commentary by Pat Munday, 10/27/11
A new planning document and two recent state reports on fisheries and upland wildlife habitat priorities may form the foundation of a long awaited Natural Resources Damage Program restoration plan for the Upper Clark Fork River basin.
Milltown remediation saw dam and sediment removal. The end goal for the state's restoration plan is a "naturally functioning channel and floodplain." But just what does that really mean?
The Dam News 2010 features a question and answer section on the who, what, where, when, why and how of the state's river restoration plan at the Milltown Superfund site.
After three years of cleanup work at the Milltown Reservoir Superfund site, the project has passed several major milestones. These aerial photos highlight some of that progress.
Milltown / Clark Fork Events Calendar
River Reading Room
Check out these recently released digital documents (PDF) relating to the Milltown/Clark Fork River Superfund effort.
Read more here.
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