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RECLAMATION OF THE MCLAREN TAILINGS: THE REST OF THE STORY
Bennett, M., T. Henderson, and A. Coleman.
36th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Mining & Reclamation, 3-7 June, Big Sky, MT, 73 slides, 2019

In late 1960, Soda Butte Creek was considered the most polluted stream entering Yellowstone National Park. The contamination source was the McLaren Tailings impoundment, constructed in the historic channel and floodplain of Soda Butte Creek from 1934 to 1953. A remedial design was developed to stabilize/remove 191,140 m3 of mine tailings, mine wastes, and impacted soils; construct an on-site repository, a site-wide dewatering system and water treatment system, and 1,219 linear meters (LM) of stormwater conveyance channels/infiltration systems; reconstruct 610 LM of Soda Butte Creek and Miller Creek; and revegetate 10 ha. The project turned a previously unusable area back to its historical landscape while cleaning up the contaminated Soda Butte Creek and preserving important fishery and natural resources of Yellowstone National Park. Construction began in June 2010, and the project was completed in fall 2015. After 4 years, the site is functioning as a stable landform. In 2018, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality delisted the creek from Montana's list of impaired waters 303d list. https://www.asmr.us/Portals/0/Documents/Meetings/2019/PowerPoints/1B_300_Bennett.pptx. See EPA fact sheet for more information https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2018-11/documents/mt_sodabutte_1768_508.pdf



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