EPA: Tenmile Creek spill poses no environmental impact

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Orange stained water flows through Tenmile Creek Monday in this photo taken by city of Helena water production staff. The spill resulting from work at the Susie Mine does not pose any environmental impacts, EPA officials said.

Photo courtesy of city of Helena Nolan Lister

Despite claims by the Helena city manager Monday that a mining spill resulted in “significant” contamination of Tenmile Creek, the Environmental Protection Agency on-site coordinator said based on early observations, the spill does not pose environmental impacts.

EPA on-site coordinator Duc Nguyen said in a phone interview Tuesday less than 100 gallons of water mixed with mining sediment was released into Tenmile Creek from the Susie Mine, part of the Upper Tenmile Creek Mining Area.

Nguyen said crew members have taken samples of the spill upstream, downstream and within the “pool of sediment about 4 or 5 feet wide” at the confluence.

Results of those samples are expected to comeback as early as late Tuesday or early Wednesday, but Nguyen said the “orange color” city

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