HELENA, Mont. - The U.S. Forest Service says the final phase of mining cleanup along Montana's Warm Springs Creek is wrapping up this fall.
The Independent Record reports that residue from mining during the Great Depression has polluted the water with arsenic, lead and zinc. The region's sulfides also create the potential for acid mine draining.
Forest Service Minerals and Geology Program Manager Steve Opp says early silver and lead miners used a process that required a lot of water, which made drainage areas like this stream east of Clancy appealing locations. Unfortunately, that also made it easy for pollution to accumulate near or even in the creek.
Forest Service Inspector Hans Oaks says the creek bottom is now free of residue and rebounding with new soil and plant life.
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