We welcome the news that the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (BNSF) will begin another phase of the rail yard cleanup. The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) recently detailed plans for the reclamation of the old C&P Packing property, located on the eastern side of the rail yard, with a newly detailed report, Revised Task M Supplemental Investigation Report – Former C&P Packing Property — DEQ Version (Task M). DEQ will be accepting public comment on Task M until August 9th, 2018.
We applaud DEQ’s and BNSF’s decision to implement Alternative 3 – Excavation, Segregation, and Off-Facility Disposal with Administrative Controls. This is the most complete and thorough cleanup and remediation option that DEQ proposed. Alternative 3 will effectively remove the contaminated soil and materials from the site, replacing them with clean backfill material, eliminating any future chance for the contaminated materials to impact our community and groundwater.
Alternative 3 represents the best solution in light of the long legacy of petroleum and battery waste that has been dumped at the C&P property. DEQ’s summary of the site states, “The pits were initially excavated in the 1940s and 1950s for useable gravel and were later reportedly used to dispose of animal slaughter wastes, livestock-car clean-out wastes, domestic and railroad refuse, American Petroleum Institute (API) separator pond sludge, and battery casings from a materials salvaging and recycling operation.”
On their decision to implement Alternative 3 they state, “DEQ and BNSF evaluated three options for addressing the soil contamination in the north pit and chose Alternative 3, excavation of contaminated soil. BNSF plans to begin excavating contaminated soils this summer. Samples will be collected to confirm the remaining soil does not contain compounds above clean-up levels. The excavation will then be backfilled and reseeded. DEQ will require BNSF to conduct two years of additional groundwater sampling surrounding the property to ensure the removal of contaminants was successful in protecting the groundwater.”
If you have any questions or concerns with Alternative 3 and the work that is scheduled to begin later this summer now is the time to voice them, or you can simply thank DEQ for choosing the most robust remediation solution for the C&P Packing property.
Please submit comments to Katie Morris by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by regular mail to DEQ Waste Management & Remediation Division, P.O. Box 200901, Helena, MT 59620. Comments must be received by 11:59 p.m. on August 9. For questions regarding the document or cleanup, Katie can be reached at 406-444-5595 or 800-246-8198 (in Montana outside Helena) or via email at the address above.
Read or download the full Revised Task M Supplemental Investigation Report – Former C&P Packing Property — DEQ Version HERE (Fair warning: it’s a large document, and file, with thousands of pages of tables and data. The relevant information and descriptions of the site are in the first 100 pages.) Or review a copy located at the Park County Library at 228 West Callender in Livingston.