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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Apr 30, 2012

 

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Keith Large
Remediation
406-841-5039

 

State & Federal Agencies to Hold Open House about the Barker Hughesville and Carpenter Snow Creek Superfund Sites

 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Montana Department of Environmental Quality and U.S. Forest Service will hold an open house this week to update the public about work being done at the Barker Hughesville and Carpenter Snow Creek Mining District federal Superfund sites in Cascade and Judith Basin Counties. Both Barker Hughesville and Carpenter Snow Creek were listed on the federal Superfund National Priority List of sites in 2001.

The agencies invite the public to visit the open house from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 3, 2012, at the Monarch/Neihart Community Center, 200 South Main Street (US Highway 89) in Neihart. A brief presentation will start at 6:30 p.m.

The Carpenter Snow Creek site covers about 14 square miles in the Little Belt Mountains of southern Cascade County near the town of Neihart. Mine tailings, waste rock and acid mine drainage from scores of abandoned mines litter the site, sending pollution into Carpenter, Snow and Belt Creeks. Heavy metals in the soil and water pose a risk to human health and the environment. Over 600,000 cubic yards of mine waste from different areas of the site may need to be removed and placed in a waste facility. This is about 60,000 dump truck loads. Once officials identify a suitable place to dispose of the waste, cleanup can proceed. In 2004, soil was removed from some Neihart properties with higher levels of contamination and in 2009, a Record of Decision was issued for the Town of Neihart. For more information about Carpenter Snow Creek: http://www.epa.gov/region8/superfund/mt/carpenter_snow_creek/index.html.

The nearby Barker Hughesville site covers almost 15 square miles of the Lewis and Clark National Forest and private land. It’s about 15 miles from Monarch. Although mostly in Cascade County, a portion is in Judith Basin County. Barker Hughesville also contains numerous abandoned mines strewn with waste rock dumps, tailings and seeping mine adits. Last year, Doe Run Resources Corporation signed an order with EPA to remove mine waste from the Block P Mining Complex section of the site. Doe Run began work and plans to complete it this year. The agencies have investigated remaining areas of the site. Later this spring, agency representatives will contact property owners in Monarch to ask their permission to sample soil, drinking water or both. There will be no charge to property owners for sampling and access is voluntary. For more information about Barker Hughesville: http://www.epa.gov/region8/superfund/mt/barker/index.html

Accommodations will be made for people with disabilities who wish to participate in the open house. If you require an accommodation, please contact Mary Ann Dunwell at (406) 841-5016 or mdunwell@mt.gov.

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Mary Ann Dunwell
Public Information Coordinator
Montana Dept. of Environmental Quality Remediation Division
(406) 841-5016, (406) 461-5358 (cell)
mdunwell@mt.gov, www.deq.mt.gov

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