DEQ Press Releases

CB6961 STATE

Public Comment Sought on Belt Water Treatment Options

HELENA – The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will host a public meeting to provide information and accept comment on the Engineering Evaluation and Cost Analysis for water treatment of acid mine discharges in Belt.

 

The meeting will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016, at the Belt Senior Center, 19 Castner St. at 7 p.m. The public is encouraged to attend and will have an opportunity to ask questions and provide input.

 

The EE/CA also serves as an Environmental Assessment and is a public document that provides the purpose and need for the project, identification and analysis of options and the evaluation of environmental impacts. It presents the preferred water treatment plant design and operations and maintenance tasks for the proposed water treatment selected. Costs are also evaluated.

 

“The DEQ Abandoned Mine Lands program recently completed a successful water supply project in Sand Coulee, providing clean, potable water to the town,” said Autumn Coleman, AML supervisor. “We are very excited to now start work on cleaning up the rusty, contaminated water that has flowed from the mines and through the Belt community for a century.”

 

Decades of underground coal mining in the Great Falls Coal Field resulted in acidic mine-impacted water that has contaminated groundwater and surface water in and around Belt, located in eastern Cascade County. DEQ and others have completed numerous investigations and studies to allow for a complete and detailed evaluation of potential treatment technologies to permanently address the contaminated water and to minimize its impacts to the environment.

 

A video about the work done in Sand Coulee can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZKZ9Z6O1ys

 

For more information about the meeting or the project, contact Tom Henderson at 406-444-6469 or by email at: thenderson@mt.gov

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