DEQ Seeking Comment on Expanded Engineering Evaluation and Cost Analysis for the Lilly/Orphan Boy Mine -

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DEQ Seeking Comment on Expanded Engineering Evaluation and Cost Analysis for the Lilly/Orphan Boy Mine

Monday, February 8, 2016/Categories: Department of Environmental Quality/Tags:


Helena – The Montana Department of Environmental Quality, in coordination with Trout Unlimited, is seeking public comment on an Expanded Engineering Evaluation and Cost Analysis for the Lilly/Orphan Boy Mine along Telegraph Creek in the Little Blackfoot River watershed in Powell County.

The purpose of the Expanded EE/CA is to develop and evaluate potential cleanup options to reduce or eliminate potential human health and environmental risks associated with solid waste materials at the Lilly/Orphan Boy Mine site. This includes the reduction or elimination of uncontrolled releases of metals to soil, surface water, and sediment from mine waste present at the site. The Expanded EE/CA identifies the preferred option that best satisfies the criteria developed from removal action objectives and is used to evaluate the variety of potential reclamation alternatives.

The public is encouraged to attend a meeting on February 17 at 6:00 p.m. at the Elliston Elementary School in Elliston. An informational presentation will be given, followed by an opportunity for the public to ask questions and make official comments on the Expanded EE/CA.

The Expanded EE/CA evaluated three cleanup options that will reduce or eliminate potential human health and ecological risks associated with mine waste and impacted soil/sediment. These options include:

  • Alternative 1: No Action
  • Alternative 2: Excavation and disposal in an off-site repository
  • Alternative 3: Excavation and disposal in the Luttrell Repository.​

These options only address mine waste and soil/sediment containing contaminants of concern at concentrations above reclamation goals and do not address discharge from the Lilly adit.

Alternative 3 is the preferred cleanup option. This option consists of the excavation and removal of approximately 4,415 cubic yards of mine waste, soil and sediment for disposal in the Luttrell Repository. The Luttrell Repository is approximately 6.6 miles from the site and is part of the Basin Mining Area. Following removal, the site would be regraded to match existing undisturbed site slopes. Appropriate measures would be taken to encourage revegetation. Approximately 300 linear feet of Telegraph Creek would be reconstructed and graded to provide a slope consistent with upstream and downstream portions of the creek that have not been affected by mining activities. 

The Lilly/Orphan Boy Mine Site is an abandoned hard rock mine located on private property approximately 10.5 miles south of Elliston. Contaminants of concern are arsenic and lead. Cleanup levels are based on recreational user cleanup guidelines which is based on a 50-day per year exposure scenario.

The Expanded EE/CA can be found online at: and at the DEQ Cedar Building (1225 Cedar St. in Helena).

Written comments may be submitted to Joel Chavez, project manager, at DEQ-Federal Superfund Bureau, P.O. Box 200901, Helena, MT 59620-0901 or via email at: Comments received through the postal service must be postmarked no later than March 8, 2016, and comments submitted electronically must be received no later than 11:59 p.m., March 8, 2016.



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