Butte Priority Soils Operable unit


The Ten Areas

A combination of remedy, restoration and public use projects will complete the remedy at the ten areas of this unique site, transforming land around the creek corridor that runs through the heart of Butte and collectively providing enduring benefits to the community.

Butte Reduction Works Smelter Area

The Butte Reduction Works was formerly used for copper, zinc, and manganese production and is currently used by Butte-Silver Bow County to produce asphalt and gravel used in road projects. Years ago, Silver Bow Creek ran through this site.

Diggings East Area

The Diggings East area is a former unpermitted municipal landfill that contains a combination of municipal waste, construction debris, tailings, and other waste. 

Grove Gulch Area

Grove Gulch is one of several gulches in Butte that may have been used to dispose of milling and mineral processing wastes, allowing that material to flow down the drainage into Blacktail Creek.

Insufficiently Reclaimed Source Areas

In the Butte Priority Soils Operable Unit (BPSOU), there are 26 historic mining-related sites (about 100 acres) that were reclaimed to a standard that may not meet the requirements of the Butte Hill Revegetation Standards (BHRS).

Northside Tailings Area

The Northside Tailings area contains tailings and other mining wastes that were deposited near the former Silver Bow Creek location by past mining operations.

Buffalo Gulch Area

The proposed remedy will remove tailings, wastes, and contaminated soils from an approximately 9-acre site located at the bottom of Buffalo Gulch.

Unreclaimed Solid Media Sites

There are 39 sites, covering nearly 90 acres, in the Butte Priority Soils Operable Unit (BPSOU) that may have been impacted by historic mining activities and may require reclamation.

Blacktail Creek & Confluence Area

The area where Blacktail and Silver Bow Creeks meet today has been impacted by past activities that disposed of mining, milling, smelting, and other wastes in the creek corridor area. 

Uncontrolled Surface Flow Areas

Under the proposed remedy, most of the stormwater impacted by historic mining will be captured and managed in stormwater best management practices (BMPs) located throughout the Silver Bow Creek Conservation Area. Stormwater that does not report to the Silver Bow Creek Conservation Area will be managed by additional stormwater BMPs at other locations throughout Butte, primarily south of the interstate.

Copper Mountain Sports & Recreation Complex Area

The Copper Mountain Sports & Recreation Complex Area was built on the site of the Clark Tailings Repository in 2001. Nearly one million cubic yards of tailings and contaminated soil were excavated from Lower Area One and disposed of at the Clark Tailings Repository in the late 1990s.

Atlantic Richfield will build a 120-acre chain of parkland along Butte's creek corridor.

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