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DEQ details Upper Blackfoot Mining Complex cleanup efforts to Helena High students

Posted at 6:43 PM, Feb 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-27 22:16:44-05

HELENA – The Montana Department of Environmental Quality and other partners, including the Natural Resource Damage Program, Pioneer Tech Services and Missouri River contractors detailed cleanup efforts at the Upper Blackfoot Mining Complex to two Helena High School advanced placement environmental science classes.

Upper Blackfoot Mine complex is located about 15 miles outside of Lincoln.

For the last several years, DEQ has worked in coordination with the U.S. Forest Service and State Natural Resource Damage Program to cleanup contamination at the site.

The purpose of the presentation was to bring in people in various positions who have worked on the project to explain their roles in remediation efforts as well as to show students interested in science and engineering, future career opportunities in environmental and scientific fields.

David Bowers, Project Manager for DEQ said, “From an educational perspective being able to come and show the different disciplines that are involved in making a project like this work, it’s really important to us.”

Bowers continued, “Well, we’re cleaning and removing all the contamination. Once we have done that, it’ll open up and hopefully be used as recreational area, for fishing and camping and everything, it’s a beautiful spot–I’ve been going up there since 2002, I love it.”

By the time cleanup is complete, as much as a million cubic yards of mine waste will have been removed.