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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sep 23, 2013

 

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Jenny Chambers
Remediation
406-841-5001

 

DEQ Coming to Belt to Discuss Water Quality

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 23, 2013

FOR MORE INFORMATION
Jenny Chambers
DEQ Remediation Division Administrator
406-841-5001

Jeni Garcin-Flatow
DEQ Remediation Public Information Officer
406-841-5016

DEQ Coming to Belt to Discuss Water Quality Issues

Helena – The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will host a public meeting in Belt, Mont. to present information on the variety of water quality issues affecting the town and how they tie together.

The meeting will be from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Monday, September 30, 2013, at the Belt Senior Center, 19 Castner St. The public is encouraged to attend and will have an opportunity to ask questions.

There are several bureaus within DEQ that are working together to evaluate and ensure good water quality in Belt. The issues to be discussed are treatment of acid mine drainage, financing options for the town’s water and wastewater treatment systems, and a water quality plan for the Belt Creek and Sand Coulee watershed.

Representatives from four of DEQ’s programs will be on hand to talk about the issues and how they are working together to assist the town.

For more information about the meeting or the topics to be discussed, please contact Jenny Chambers at 406-841-5001 or by email at jchambers@mt.gov.

The DEQ will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities who wish to participate in the meeting. If you require an accommodation, please contact Jeni Garcin-Flatow at 406-841-5016 or jgarcin2@mt.gov.

Background

DEQ’s Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) program is currently conducting a water treatment assessment to deal with the acid mine drainage in Belt. The acid mine drainage is a result of water flowing through the abandoned coal mines in and around the town.

The Department’s Technical and Financial Assistance Bureau, which provides low-interest assistance to public water and wastewater collection treatment system projects, has put Belt’s proposed drinking water project and a wastewater treatment system upgrade on the bureau’s priority list.

In 2011, DEQ’s Watershed Management Section wrote a water quality plan for the Belt Creek and Sand Coulee watersheds. The plan focuses on the large amounts of metals in the water that have abandoned mines as the primary source. It also discusses wastewater treatment plant discharges as another potential source of metals.

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