BUTTE - Montana Resources in Butte has committed $300.000 to the Restore Our Creek Coalition for a study and design plan on the restoration of the first mile of Silver Bow Creek that runs through Butte.
“ROCC and Project Green have worked tirelessly over the years to ensure Butte gets treated fairly in its Superfund cleanup decisions,” said Northey Tretheway, ROCC spokesperson. “We are excited for the thousands of people of Butte who have invested so much for so long in the vision of a restored Silver Bow Creek through the corridor in the center of Butte. This substantial contribution allows us to take the next steps forward and solidifies Montana Resources investment in our community’s interests.”
The final remedy approved for the Butte Priority Soils Operable Unit (BPSOU) in 2020 did not include a restored Silver Bow Creek. However, based on ROCC’s vision and the many voices of support from the community, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sponsored a $50,000 independent study to determine the feasibility of a lined creek within the planned Superfund remedy. The findings of this preliminary study were performed by Butte engineering firm Water & Environmental Technologies (WET) and showed that the project was generally feasible.
Significant funding from MR will allow ROCC to hire a professional engineering firm and project manager to build on this earlier study and explore next phase design alternatives for a restored creek in the corridor between Texas Avenue and Montana Street. In order to increase cooperation among Superfund stakeholders, ROCC and its selected firm(s) intend to coordinate closely with Atlantic Richfield Company, EPA, the State of Montana’s Department of Environmental Quality and Natural Resource Damage Program and Butte-Silver Bow local government. These efforts will help determine what design features may be built in the corridor.
“This serious design work is the next step in creating a Silver Bow Creek design that can be integrated with the remedial efforts of Atlantic Richfield, the State and EPA, so Butte can end up with a shovel-ready project,” said Tretheway.
MR has committed up to $300,000 for this work, with additional funding possible as the project advances. If initial phases prove successful, MR’s funding for developing a final design for the restored creek could be in the millions of dollars over the next couple of years.