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Neighborhood concerned about proposed Butte tailings dump site

Posted at 1:00 PM, Feb 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-25 15:00:29-05

BUTTE — Butte residents in a neighborhood near Timber Butte are concerned about a proposed dump site for mining waste tailings they believe is too close for comfort.

“Especially with the YMCA so close and rural neighborhoods, you know, just a phenomenal neighborhood and beautiful scenery, and why we’re thinking about that. We just want to make sure everything is done responsibly,” said concerned resident Colin Higgins.

The cleanup plan in the recently released consent decree proposes using a 16-acre site located between Copper Mountain Park and the neighborhood off South Montana Street. Many residents just learned about the plan and raised these concerns with officials this week.

“If it was going in my backyard, and it’s not, I’d want answers to those questions. How we control the dust, how control the traffic, what are the potential health impacts,” said Atlantic-Richfield Project Manager Josh Bryson.

Residents fear that if this site is used to dump tailings, the area could become contaminated and their property values could also be negatively impacted.

“I don’t have any doubt that it wouldn’t affect the land value and just the resources and the stability for years to come,” said Higgins.

A public hearing will be held on this plan in the consent decree Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Butte Justice Center at 3619 Wynne Ave.