DEQ Press Releases

Driscoll, Paul

Cleanup at Upper Blackfoot Mining Complex Begins This Month

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality, in coordination with the U.S. Forest Service and the Montana Natural Resource Damage program, announce that construction cleanup will resume at the Upper Blackfoot Mining Complex in May.

This year’s construction will complete removal of the Mike Horse tailings impoundment and dam that began in 2014. 

Safety continues to be a top priority on this cleanup. The Meadow Creek and Mike Horse Roads will be closed to the public during construction beginning May 4. See for more information.  The agencies also remind the traveling public of reduced speeds on Highway 200, near the intersections of Mike Horse and Meadow Creek roads when hauling is in progress.

“We take safety very seriously and ask that the public notify us if they see anything we can do better,” said Shellie Haaland, DEQ construction manager. “Last year was very successful and we look forward to continuing the cleanup and restoring the headwaters of the Blackfoot River.”

The Montana Department of Transportation has road work planned for Highways 200 and 279 this summer. Helena Sand & Gravel remains the contractor remains the contractor on the Mike Horse project as well as the road work, thus minimizing conflicts between the two projects.

While the projected haul is slightly behind schedule due to inclement weather during the 2014 season, the early spring allows cleanup to begin two months ahead of schedule this year. Weather conditions will dictate when the work occurs; fire, snow, freezing temperatures, and rain can affect the schedule.

For more information or to report safety concerns, please contact Shellie Haaland at (406) 431-1401 or by email at:    

To schedule an interview, contact:

Jeni Flatow
DEQ Remediation Division Public Information Officer

Kristi Ponozzo
DEQ Public Policy Director

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