DOJ: News Release

State Solicits Comments on Restoration Plan for the Clark Fork, Blackfoot Rivers near Milltown Dam

HELENA – The state is seeking public comment on the October 2005 Restoration Plan for the Clark Fork River and Blackfoot River Near Milltown Dam, in an effort to develop the best blueprint for restoring the Clark Fork and Blackfoot Rivers in coordination with proposed remediation at the Milltown site.

West Water Consulting and The River Design Group, Inc. prepared the proposed restoration plan for the State of Montana’s Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks and Natural Resource Damage Program (NRDP) in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

Doug Martin of the NRDP said the document provides a refined vision of how the rivers might be restored once the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) have removed the Milltown Dam and a large portion of contaminated sediments.

“The 2005 plan builds upon the previous restoration plan,” Martin said. “The earlier version was a broad scale conceptual plan with restoration concepts, draft design information and restoration cost estimates. This new plan provides new data, validates the previous design concepts and includes recommendations and comments from a peer review process where four national experts reviewed and commented on this refined restoration plan.”

A public meeting to describe the draft plan and get public comment will be Thursday, November 10 at 7 p.m. at Saint Ann’s Church, 9015 Highway 200, in Bonner.

Copies of the restoration plan are available for viewing at the Missoula Public Library, the Bonner School Library, the University of Montana Library, the Missoula City-County Health Department and the FWP Missoula office at 3201 Spurgin Road.

A plan summary and the complete plan are also posted on the NRDP website. It is available on CD through the NRDP office at (406) 444-0205.

Written comments should be sent to:
Doug Martin
Natural Resource Damage Program
P.O. Box 201425
Helena, MT 59620-1425
Faxed to 444-0236 or e-mailed to nrdp@mt.gov, by December 9, 2005.

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