DOJ: News Release

Public Comment on Butte Area One Draft Restoration Plan

Public Comment on Butte Area One Draft Restoration Plan

The Butte Natural Resource Damage Restoration Council (BNRC) and the State of Montana’s Natural Resource Damage Program (NRDP) are seeking comments on the Butte Area One Draft Restoration Plan. This plan, which was developed with extensive public input and incredible amount of work on the part of the BNRC, describes how $32 million natural resource damage settlement money will be spent in the Butte area.  The Governor will make a final decision on this plan.


Specifically the document describes the restoration plan the State of Montana will implement to restore the injured groundwater and surface water resources of Butte Area One.  The focal point of this plan is the BNRC’s restoration recommendation, which concentrates on the restoration of the Upper Silver Bow Creek corridor from Texas Avenue to Montana Street.  The BNRC recommends $10 million be devoted to restoration of the Silver Bow Creek corridor; $10 million on water system improvements; $6 million on waste cap improvements and revegetation; $4 million on stream restoration; $1 million on recreation and fishing and another $1 million on small projects.   Elizabeth Erickson, BNRC Council Chairwoman notes that “the BNRC recognized the limited funds were not sufficient to address all of the restoration needs here and constructed this plan to address as many as possible.”

This draft plan is available for public comment through 5:00 p.m. on Friday, November 16, 2012.  A public hearing will be held on Thursday, November 8, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. in the 2nd Floor Conference Room of the Thornton Building at 65 East Broadway in Butte.  Copies of this plan are available on the NRDP website at https://doj.mt.gov/lands/notices-of-public-comment/ or by contacting NRDP at 533-6882or 444-0205.  Comments can be submitted to NRDP at nrdp@mt.gov or mailed to NRDP c/o Pat Cunneen at 65 East Broadway, Butte, MT  59701.

This plan is a part of the State’s process to allocate monies received as part of a series of settlements of the State’s natural resource damage lawsuit against Atlantic Richfield Company for injuries to natural resource caused by hazardous substance releases from historic mining and mineral processing in the Upper Clark Fork River Basin.  Under the federal Superfund law, the natural resource trustees must complete a restoration plan and consider public input before natural resource damage settlement funds can be spent.   The Governor has approved separate restoration plans for the Milltown, Clark Fork River, and Smelter Hill injured areas.  The State is also seeking comments on its Draft Upper Clark Fork River Basin Aquatic and Terrestrial Restoration Plans through October 26, 2012.  For more information on these documents, see https://doj.mt.gov/lands/notices-of-public-comment/.

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