DEQ Press Releases

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DEQ Approves Plan to Move Waste in Bonner Mill Site Repository to Landfill in Missoula County

Construction Starts this Week

HELENA—The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) approved a plan submitted by Bonner Property Development (BPD) to remove waste in the Bonner Mill Site Repository and dispose of the waste in the Republic Landfill in Missoula County, Mont. The draft plan went out for public comment in September and no comments were received.   

The current landowner of the site, BPD, requested DEQ’s approval to remove the remaining waste in the 3-acre repository and properly dispose of it in the Missoula landfill. The repository is performing as designed and remains protective of human health and the environment. DEQ is not requiring any party to remove or alter the repository. However, if a landowner makes a request DEQ will accommodate the request as long as the movement will not spread, worsen or otherwise exacerbate the contamination.

The former Bonner Mill site supplied lumber to mining operations and was discovered to have contaminants in the sediment of the onsite cooling pond in 2006. Stimson Lumber Company, the operator of the lumber mill, completed some remedial action in 2016 that included disposal of certain Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB) contaminated soils in an onsite repository. The existing repository was designed to protect the Blackfoot River from contamination during flooding events. 

Construction starts this week. Once construction is complete, BPD must sample the repository site to confirm that all contaminated waste is removed from the repository. After that sampling is complete and shows all the contaminated waste has been removed, BPD will then backfill the disturbed area with clean materials and properly reclaim and revegetate the disturbed area or redevelop it.   

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