Posted: Oct 16, 2012 6:28 AM by Jen Fenter - MTN News
Updated: Oct 16, 2012 6:28 AM
CENTERVILLE- Creeks in the Centerville area have been given new life after 60 days and more than $600,000.
The Montana Department of Environmental Quality has spent the last two months removing mine sludge from waterways in and around Sand Coulee, Stockett, and Tracy.
Plugged culverts and bridge pass-throughs have been cleared out after years of mining sludge blocked water flow.
Hayden Janssen of DEQ says the mitigation project is only a temporary fix and that nothing will stop the Old Great Falls Coal field from draining into the waterways.
"The hope is that this mitigation project lasts 15-20 years before the precipitates start to accumulate and fill in. As you can see the culvert behind me, they fill up to where water can't flow and that's where we run into the problem of flooding," Janssen noted.
Crews were planning to remove 19,000 tons of sludge, but Janssen says they went over by 4%, while still staying within the budget and planned time-frame.
He expects crews to be finished with the work this weekend.