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Toxic Time Bomb

Bonner, MT: (Apr-25-08) A lawsuit was brought against Atlantic Richfield Co. and ASARCO, over issues pertaining to the removal of the Mike Horse Dam and mining wastes from the Blackfoot River's headwaters. Montana Attorney General Mike McGrath, Gov. Brian Schweitzer and representatives of the state Department of Environmental Quality and US Forest Service, who were involved with the negotiations, announced that the two sides had reached a settlement in the case, which will ultimately lead to the restoration of the river.

Under the terms of the deal, Atlantic Richfield and ASARCO will each pay about $8 million to the state, which also will receive nearly $20 million from the ASARCO bankruptcy proceeds, bringing the total figure to $37 million. Sources stated that during negotiations and the final settlement, the spirit of the late author and fly-fishing practitioner Norman Maclean was invoked, as his book "A River Runs Through It" drew national attention to the plight of the Blackfoot, whose waters, sediment and native trout fishery have been affected by more than a century of mine tailings. Under the settlement agreement, the Forest Service will receive another $1 million to oversee the state's implementation of the project and $230,000 for past costs. [MISSOULIAN: $37 MILLION MIKE HORSE SETTLEMENT REACHED]

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Published on Apr-29-08


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