Clark Fork cleanup moves forward after holiday break


Canada geese perch on ice shelves along the Clark Fork River and fluff up their down jackets against the cold.  

It’s been quieter in recent weeks for geese and men along the stretch of river near Perkins Lane. Phase 3 of Superfund cleanup began there in spring and will move incrementally along the river and eventually end about half-way to the Galen Road. Phase 3 work continued through summer and fall and just recently paused for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

The project is said to be ahead of schedule, but with a lot of excavation and hauling remaining.

During summer and fall, trucks fitted with side dump trailers waited as  excavator operators filled the trailers with contaminated soils. The trailer loads were hauled a comparatively short distance and dumped in a repository in the Opportunity Ponds. The company doing the work was Missouri River Contractors and its employees labored long hours during the summer days of prolonged light.

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality is the lead agency for the Clark Fork site. It consults with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and coordinates with the state Natural Resource Damage Program.

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