DEQ Releases Record of Decision for Final Cleanup of the Upper Blackfoot Mining Complex -

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DEQ Releases Record of Decision for Final Cleanup of the Upper Blackfoot Mining Complex

Monday, March 14, 2016/Categories: Department of Environmental Quality/Tags:

Helena – The Montana Department of Environmental Quality released Friday a Record of Decision for final cleanup on non-federal lands at the Upper Blackfoot Mining Complex State Superfund Facility in Lewis and Clark County, east of Lincoln. 

“This decision will allow our team, in coordination with Natural Resources Damage Program and the Forest Service, to begin implementing the final cleanup at the UBMC this summer,” said Tom Livers, DEQ Director. “It is the icing on the cake for a project that is well under way and has already proven successful. We are very excited for this final piece to be put in place.”

The Record of Decision focuses on the portions of the UBMC on non- federal land. This includes portions of the Blackfoot River below the former Mike Horse dam and tailings impoundment, and the Upper Marsh at the confluence of Pass Creek and the Blackfoot River.

For the non-federal lands within the UBMC, DEQ selected a combination of options to address physical hazards and to clean up soil, sediment, groundwater and surface water. Thirteen separate areas were identified based on physical location, habitat type, and waste sources. These were combined into five evaluation areas, which will be cleaned up using a combination of the following:

  • physical barriers for adit openings or related physical hazards;
  • removal and on-site disposal of impacted soil and sediment;
  • containment of impacted soil;
  • monitored natural attenuation for groundwater;
  • monitored natural recovery for sediments;
  • containment of adit discharges, seeps and springs; and
  • hydrologic and hydraulic control for upstream groundwater and surface water combined with passive chemical reageant.

The DEQ Record of Decision does not address any of the federal lands within the UBMC for which the USFS already selected a cleanup. In 2007, the USFS released its Action Memorandum identifying the required cleanup at a portion of its property within the UBMC. The USFS amended that Action Memorandum in 2012. For those federal lands within the UBMC that were not included in the Action Memorandum, as amended, the USFS will issue a separate decision.

Included in the Record of Decision are details of the preferred cleanup, as well as a responsiveness summary that addresses the comments received during the comment period for the Proposed Plan, released in October 2015. The decision was made under the authority of the State Superfund law, the Comprehensive Environmental Cleanup and Responsibility Act, to ensure protectiveness of human health and the environment.

For more information regarding the UBMC, please contact David Bowers at 406-444-6335, or visit the webpage at A copy of the ROD will be available online, at the DEQ Cedar Building (1225 Cedar Street, Helena), at the Lincoln Ranger District (1569 Highway 200, Lincoln), and at the Lincoln Library (102 9th Street, Lincoln).

To schedule an interview for this story, please contact:

Jeni Flatow

Montana Department of Environmental Quality

Remediation Division Public Information Officer

Office: 406-444-6469

Mobile: 406-437-1327


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