On March 28, 2018, Montana Governor Steve Bullock announced the next phase of the Parrot Tailings Waste Removal Project in Butte, Montana. The Montana Natural Resources Damage Program (NRDP) has issued the bid package for the first phase of the Project.
Private industry left this contaminated mess behind for taxpayers to clean up over 100 years ago. “Butte has been waiting for too long to get this cleanup done and it’s finally going to happen,” Governor Bullock said. “It’s time to move dirt and put folks to work.”
Bullock originally kicked off the Project in 2015, saying “as we look at Silver Bow Creek and downstream, it is critically important that we get these tailings removed.”
“The issuance of the Phase 1 bid package in the Parrot Tailings Waste Removal Project is a significant milestone to address the contamination present in Silver Bow and Black Tail Creeks,” Attorney General Tim Fox said. “Removal of these mine wastes is the best permanent solution for resolving groundwater contamination and protecting these creeks for the future.”
As currently configured, the first phase of the Project encompasses the removal of historic wastes in the area north of Civic Center Road. During this phase Civic Center Road will remain open to through traffic. The first phase should be completed by Spring 2019.
Butte-Silver Bow County Chief Executive Dave Palmer said, “I’m pleased this project is finally moving forward. This has been a long time coming for Butte and this is a good beginning to many millions of dollars in job creation building our restoration economy.”
Once NRDP selects a contractor for this phase of the Project it will hold public open houses to introduce the Project team, provide information to the public about the Project, and to answer questions. As construction progresses, NRDP will be providing the public with periodic updates by way of a Project newsletter.
The bid package allows interested contractors 35 days to submit bids for the Project.
Once a qualified contractor is selected, a notice to proceed with the initial stages of the Project should be issued in late-Spring of 2018.
Satellite photo of tailings pond and the Berkeley Pit via NASA.