HELENA, Mont. – Governor Greg Gianforte today announced that the Natural Resource Damage Program (NRDP) of the Montana Department of Justice has selected Intermountain Construction Services, LLC (ICS) of Butte, Montana to implement Phase II of the Parrot Tailings Waste Removal Project (Parrot Project). ICS has extensive experience in Butte and throughout the Northwest with large earth-moving projects. ICS was the low bidder at $8,689,370. Four other companies submitted bids that ranged up to $20,282,465.
“Butte has been waiting decades for the clean-up it deserves, and I am pleased that the State is moving forward to this final phase of the Parrot Project. Combined with the other clean-up activities provided for in the Butte Consent Decree, we can look forward to a day when Butte moves past the Superfund era and toward a more prosperous future,” said Governor Greg Gianforte.
Phase II will begin in mid-February after Butte-Silver Bow vacates its old shop complex and hands over the site to NRDP. The main activity this winter will involve demolition of the shop complex to make way for removal activities this summer and fall. In early February 2021, Civic Center Road through the site will be closed and detour routes implemented.
Phase II includes removal of an estimated 310,000 cubic yards (cy) of mine wastes and slag, placing of 85,000 cy of clean backfill, and relocating 375,000 cy of clean reusable overburden. There will also be approximately 160,500 cy of soils imported to construct an Evaporation/Transpiration Cover System over groundwater unsaturated mine wastes where they will not be removed. When complete, the elevation at the site will be lowered to match the elevation of the Civic Center, and the entire site (Phase I and Phase II) will be handed back to BSB for its future use.
Because of Montana Resources’ cooperation in accepting the mine wastes from the Parrot Project, ICS can stay off public roads and use very large off-road trucks and excavators. The haul trucks that ICS is proposing to use can move up to 60 cy of materials, which is much larger than the 14 cy trucks that can be typically used on public roads. The ability to use larger equipment is a real cost savings for the Parrot Project. In total, when both Phases of the Parrot Project are complete, the NRDP’s contractors will have moved almost 1,800,000 cy of mine waste and clean soils for less than $15M (not including the cost of the BSB Shop relocation).
“The Parrot Project is necessary to protect both Silver Bow and Blacktail Creeks and improve groundwater quality in Butte. It is a huge step forward for Butte, the Upper Clark Fork River, and the State. Hopefully, this project will demonstrate what is possible for environmental protection, safety, and cost-effectiveness for other mine waste removal projects in the Silver Bow Creek corridor,” said Harley Harris, lawyer and program manager for NRDP.
Phase II should be completed in 2022.
NRDP will hold a (virtual) informational meeting of the Butte Natural Resource Damage Council (BNRC) at 5:00 p.m. on January 27, 2021 to provide further information about Phase II, including the detour and traffic control measures that will be put in place. This meeting will be open to the public, and all interested members of the community are invited to attend. Attendees can join the Zoom meeting by calling 406-444-9999, using meeting ID 942 6999 3347 and password 813859, or join following the link provided on NRDP’s website under the Butte Natural Resource Damage Restoration Council (BNRC): www.dojmt.gov/lands/council-meetings .
Copies of the Parrot Tailings Waste Removal Plan documents are available on the NRDP website at https://dojmt.gov/lands/butte-area-one/ or by contacting NRDP at 406-444-0205.