Atlantic Richfield Company
Butte, Montana

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History

What you should know

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designated Silver Bow Creek as a Superfund site in 1983, which initiated the process of collecting data and designing and implementing remediation projects within the BPSOU.

An Aerial view of Granite Mountain re-vegetation

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designated Silver Bow Creek as a Superfund site in 1983, which initiated the process of collecting data and designing and implementing remediation projects within the BPSOU. The remediation of Lower Area One in 1997 and 1998 marked the beginning of many significant remediation events that would occur in the BPSOU. Remediation included removal of contaminate soils (completed in 1997), construction of a ground water treatment facility (Butte Treatment Lagoons [BTL]), and construction of Missoula Gulch Catch Basins (CB8 and CB9). From 1998 to 2001, storm water channels routing contaminated ground water back to the Berkeley Pit were constructed to help reduce storm water contamination.

Construction of the Metro Storm Drain (MSD) sub-drain was completed and became operational in April 2005 and was a significant event in the remediation process. This sub-drain captures surrounding contaminated ground water and pumps it to the Butte Treatment Lagoons (BTL). As a result, in-stream contaminants of concern (COCs) were observed to significantly decrease to levels near proposed compliance standards.

In 2010, Expansion of the ground water capture system at Butte Reduction Works (located north of SBC between the BTL system and Montana Street) was completed to increase ground water capture. Then in 2011, The stream bank where Blacktail Creek meets the MSD was replaced.

The work continues today to reduce hazards caused by the mining and smelting processes. Recently, 25 new wells were installed to capture more data which will help characterize ground water movement in the area between Lower Area One and the MSD capture system. Early in 2012, a new hydro-dynamic device will be installed at Warren Avenue to reduce contamination of storm water runoff. Contaminated soils are still being removed from residential properties and reseeded to reduce storm water contamination. These are just a few of the many remediation efforts that are being taken today in the Butte area.