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Feds step in with money to relocate Plains wastewater treatment plant

Plains Wastewater Plant Flooding
Posted at 11:21 AM, Dec 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-16 13:21:38-05

PLAINS — Two years after floods nearly wiped out a critical piece of infrastructure, the federal government is coming through with money to relocate the wastewater treatment plant for the town of Plains.

Plains built its wastewater treatment plant on a plot of land southwest of town several years ago but as the Clark Fork River's channel has changed that location has become increasingly under threat.

When the record floods happened in the spring of 2018 -- and melting snow across the Clark Fork Basin reached Plains -- the river spread out over several miles. At one point, it nearly cut through the small peninsula where the plant is located.

Now, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will help.

FEMA is awarding Plains just over $5 million to relocate the treatment plant -- including lagoons and the entire system -- to a new 10-acre site outside the floodplain. The grant will cover 89% of the project costs, with the town covering the rest.