Posted: Oct 19, 2012 5:00 PM by Katy Harris KXLF News
Updated: Oct 19, 2012 5:04 PM
The 1908 flood has left tailing deposits in a Clark Fork River tributary.
Floodplain tailings are being removed from Willow Creek embankments.
ARCO initiated the cleanup project that will run along Highway 1 near Opportunity. Tailings were found in the mid 1990s during remedial investigations. The investigation revealed metal levels of copper in the banks of Willow Creek. Those levels of copper can affect fish and aquatic life.
Anaconda EPA Superfund Project Manager Charlie Coleman says,"These materials potentially impact water quality of Willow Creek and into the Clark Fork River."
EPA is cleaning up 1 to 2 feet of floodplain tailings on Willow Creek.
"This is part of an overall effort to improve water quality and cleanup of the Clark Fork Watershed Basin," adds Coleman.
The primary construction phase on Willow Creek will be complete this fall.
Then EPA will come back in the spring for bank development.
The entire Willow Creek project will be finished in a year.