"Milltown Sediment Spread Near Opportunity Won't Grow Grass"

"OPPORTUNITY -- Milltown Reservoir’s exiled dirt won’t behave in its new home.

The 2.5 million cubic yards of fine-grained sediment dredged from the former reservoir east of Missoula has been spread 2 feet thick over more than 600 acres of wasteland between Anaconda and its satellite community of Opportunity. But it won’t grow grass.

'This would have been the first year we wanted to see vegetation everywhere,' said Charlie Coleman, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Anaconda site project manager. 'But the vegetation never took off.'

That’s more and less of a problem than it sounds. Less, because the Milltown sediment doesn’t appear to be posing a human health hazard. It’s sticking where it belongs on top of historic smelter wastes, and doesn’t appear to contribute to the dust clouds that occasionally stampede across the Deer Lodge Valley."

Rob Chaney reports for the Missoulian October 30, 2010.

Monday, November 1, 2010