In 2010 EPA interviewed local citizens and reviewed the status of Butte area Superfund sites as part of a required five-year review (the full review report is available here). Five-year reviews determine whether remedies or other response actions are protective of human health and the environment in compliance with a site’s decision documents. Methods, findings, and conclusions are documented in […]

Read More...

1982-2013: 31 years since pumps stopped

Over 31 years ago economic factors led the Atlantic-Richfield Corporation, or ARCO, now a subsidiary of British Petroleum, to cease mining operations at the Berkeley Pit in Butte, Montana. Underground mining had come to an end seven years earlier, but the underground pumps had continued to operate, pumping groundwater out from the mines and the Berkeley Pit. The 1982 suspension […]

Read More...

Throughout 2010, the EPA interviewed local citizens and reviewed the status of Butte area Superfund sites, including the Berkeley, as part of a five-year review. The final review report, released in 2011, is available to the public and can be downloaded at the EPA Butte/Silver Bow Creek website. The sections of the report relating to the Butte Mine Flooding Operable […]

Read More...

What is ‘Superfund’?

Butte has the dubious distinction of being at the upper end of the largest complex of federal Superfund sites in the U.S. This Superfund complex extends from Butte and Anaconda 120 miles down the Clark Fork River to Missoula. The word “Superfund” is tossed around a lot by local and state officials working in the Clark Fork Basin, but, to […]

Read More...

West Camp also part of mine flooding site

The anatomy of the thousands of miles of tunnels beneath the Butte Hill is daunting to consider and little understood by many. Important details, such as the distinction between the “West Camp” and “East Camp”, can cause consternation for many a curious observer. The Berkeley Pit and surrounding underground mine workings and bedrock wells are referred to as the “East […]

Read More...