News & Features

Toxic Water to be Pumped from Former Smelter Site

Hydrologists say it is the most contaminated mine water in Montana

BUTTE — Contaminated groundwater will be pumped from the site of a former smelter in Montana starting this summer.

Montana and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials battled for years over whether to remove contamination from the former Parrot Smelter site in Butte. They still disagree over the remedy for toxic water at the site.

The Montana Standard reports Montana officials in 2015 moved ahead, anyway, with plans to remove mine and smelting waste and contaminated clay.

As much as 30 million gallons (114 million liters) of highly contaminated groundwater will now be removed for treatment at a nearby pond.

The water has high levels of copper, lead, cadmium, arsenic and zinc. Hydrologists say it is the most contaminated mine water in Montana.