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Tour to show work at Mike Horse Mine cleanup site

Posted at 9:50 AM, Oct 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-04 16:59:19-04

The cleanup at the Mike Horse Mine site east of Lincoln is nearing completion after the removal of nearly a million cubic yards of contaminated dirt, and spending tens of millions of dollars.

This weekend, interested residents are being given a tour of the project to update the progress made this summer.

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality, US Forest Service and other agencies have been working for years on cleanup and remediation at the Upper Blackfoot Mining Complex.

The area was the scene of extensive mining more than a hundred years ago. But the real problems started in the mid-70s when an earthen dam began to fail on Mike Horse Creek. That was sending extensive contamination downstream from what is the headwaters of the Blackfoot River.

The massive project got underway in 2014 after years of planning, moving tons of soil to be sealed in a new repository a few miles away, and restoring the watershed.

Now, the project is in its final stages and on Saturday the DEQ is leading a reservation-only tour so interested people can see the progress that's been made.

The tour will leave from Hooper Park, on the east side of Lincoln, at 10 a.m. Saturday. Space is limited and people interested in going should contact Joanne Wiggins at DEQ at (406) 444-6795 or via email .