Mine Cleanup Celebrated Today | Big Horn Basin Media

Mine Cleanup Celebrated Today

Written by on July 18, 2019

The successful cleanup of an abandoned mine near Cooke City will be celebrated today.

At 3 p.m. today, the Beartooth Alliance, along with the Montana Department of Environmental Quality and the National Park Service, will host an event to celebrate the successful cleanup of the McLaren abandoned mine. The work resulted in the ecological restoration of Soda Butte Creek, which flows into Yellowstone National Park.

Soda Butte Creek is a tributary of the Lamar River whose water quality was impaired by historical mining activity near Cooke City. According to officials with Yellowstone National Park, the tailings at the McLaren site had leached metals into Soda Butte Creek for more than 80 years and posed an ongoing threat to the Park.

Park Service officials say the abandoned mine cleanup and delisting of Soda Butte Creek from the Environmental Protection Agency’s impaired waterbodies list represent millions of dollars, more than 10 years of work, and an unprecedented partnership between the DEQ, US Forest Service, National Park Service, and other state and local agencies, along with residents of Cooke City.

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