Superfund 101: Senate Bill 409

Superfund 101: Senate Bill 409

After a tailings dam collapsed in British Columbia the Montana Mining Association wanted to take stock of how tailings were being stored in the state and prevent a similar disaster. The result of this was Senate Bill 409, an unprecedented move by the mining industry to self regulate the way tailings are stored for hard rock mines. In this episode I talk with one of the bills authors and president of the the Montana Mining Association, Mark Thompson.

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Superfund 101: Matt Vincent on I-186

Superfund 101: Matt Vincent on I-186

Matt Vincent is the former Chief Executive of Butte-Silver Bow and currently contracts with Montana Resources, a mining company in Butte. In this episode he expands on the perceived dangers of I-186, a ballot initiative that would limit the permitting of new mines to companies that prove they will not treat water in perpetuity to the Montana Department of Environmental Quality.

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Superfund 101: David Brooks on I-186

Superfund 101: David Brooks on I-186

David Brooks is the Executive Director of Trout Unlimited in Montana, in this episode of Superfund 101 he talks about Initiative 186. Trout Unlimited sponsored the ballot initiative which, if passed, would require the Department of Environmental Quality to deny new mining permits to companies that fail to provide clear and convincing evidence that the mine will not need to perpetually treat polluted water.

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Superfund 101: Julia Crain and End Land Use in the Historic Silver Bow Creek Corridor

Superfund 101: Julia Crain and End Land Use in the Historic Silver Bow Creek Corridor

Julia Crain, the special projects planner for Butte Silver Bow, joins Superfund 101 for her second appearance to brainstorm end land use for Butte Area One and invite the public to attend a series of community building workshops, the next of which is occurring Thursday August 30th at Noon and 6pm in Butte Brewing’s Conference room.

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Superfund 101: Joe Griffin and Stormwater Ponds

Superfund 101: Joe Griffin and Stormwater Ponds

Stormwater is the biggest issue facing the Butte Priority Soils Operable Unit. Copper running off The Hill during spring melt and storm events contaminates water downstream of Butte, and even in low quantities can threaten aquatic life. Before these contaminates reach the restored Silver Bow Creek, they for the most part run into the historic channel running from Texas Avenue to the slag wall canyon near I-90. According to Joe, vegetated stormwater retention ponds in this area would greatly reduce the copper that enters the creek.

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Superfund 101: Joe Griffin and the Sub Drain

Superfund 101: Joe Griffin and the Sub Drain

Joe Griffin returns to the KBMF studio to talk about contamination sources near Silver Bow Creek and the processes with which they are currently dealt with. The sub drain underneath the historic creek channel from Texas Avenue to the slag wall canyon has been the subject of much scrutiny, but Joe says the question is not if the drain is working, but is it working well enough?

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Superfund 101: Pat Cunneen and the Parrot Tailings

Superfund 101: Pat Cunneen and the Parrot Tailings

Pat Cunneen, environmental scientist for the Butte Natural Resource Damage Restoration Council, dives deep into the Parrot Tailings in this two part series for Superfund 101. In Part 1, we talk about the history of the site from a smelter in the late 1800’s, to it’s present day use as baseball field and home to the Butte Silver Bow county shops. In Part 2, Pat explains why the tailings need to go and the plan for removal.

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