DEQ Press Releases

Driscoll, Paul

DEQ Seeking Comment on Engineering Evaluation and Cost Analysis for the Flat Creek-Iron Mountain Superfund Site

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Helena – The Montana Department of Environmental Quality, in cooperation with the United States Forest Service and the Environmental Protection Agency, is seeking public comment on an Engineering Evaluation and Cost Analysis for Operable Unit 2 of the Flat Creek-Iron Mountain Mine Priority List Superfund Site in Mineral County.

The EE/CA identifies and evaluates alternatives for the cleanup of mine tailings on USFS and former Asarco-owned lands in the Flat Creek watershed north of Superior. 

The public is encouraged to attend a meeting on January 14 at 7:00 p.m. in the Multi-Purpose Room at Superior High School, 410 Arizona Avenue, in Superior. An informational presentation will be given, followed by an opportunity for the public to ask questions and make official comments on the EE/CA.

The alternatives evaluated in the EE/CA range from no action to removing nearly all of the tailings and waste rock near the stream and placing them in an existing engineered repository in the Wood Gulch area of the Flat Creek drainage. The preferred alternative is to remove the majority of tailings from the floodplain and place them in the repository.

Heavy metal contamination in Operable Unit 2 originated from the Iron Mountain Mine, which produced silver, gold, lead, copper, and zinc in the early to mid-1900s. The tailings from the mine contain elevated concentrations of metals and have been deposited along nearly four miles of the Flat Creek floodplain, posing a continuing source of contamination to the creek.

The EE/CA can be found online at,  at the DEQ Cedar Building (1225 Cedar St. in Helena), and at the Mineral County Courthouse (County Sanitarian Tim Read’s Office, 300 River St. in Superior).

Written comments may be submitted to Joel Chavez, project manager, at DEQ-Federal Superfund Bureau, P.O. Box 200901, Helena, MT 59620-0901 or via email at: Comments received through the postal service must be postmarked no later than January 26, 2016, and comments submitted electronically must be received no later than 11:59 p.m. January 25, 2016.


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