Regarding the cleanup of the old mine tailings in Cooke City, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality’s Tom Henderson recently said:
“The removal of tailings from the impoundment is over 80 percent complete. This upcoming year should see all the mines wastes placed in the repository at the site, and possibly the placement of the final cap over the repository. Reconstruction of Soda Butte Creek and Miller Creek will occur this year.
I expect that the major work at the project will be complete this year, but expect there will be additional re-vegetation work and final site work will be conducted in 2014. The project work is being done by Knife River.”
This $20 million project by DEQ would not have occurred without the efforts of Beartooth Alliance, an affiliate of Northern Plains Resource Council, at Cooke City.
The threat of the unattached dam above Cooke City washing out from large snow-melt or rainfall into the town will now be eliminated. Also the poor water quality that ran down Soda Butte Creek for years will not continue.
The creek will run in its original channel with clean water and good fishing. It has been a truly remarkable project. Thank you, Montana DEQ and the Beartooth Alliance.