Montana’s Scary Water Facts


Environment Montana

In its new, frightening fact sheet, Environment Montana found that:

1)    The Montana Department of Environmental Quality has identified 100 waterways too polluted for swimming, fishing, and/or other uses.

2)    The Upper Clark Fork River Basin, stretching from Milltown to Butte, is the largest Superfund site in the US.

3)    The Berkley Pit in Butte, once an open pit copper mine, is now a bubbling cauldron of toxic wastewater over 900 feet deep.

4)    Montana is the 6th “driest” state in the nation, based on annual precipitation, yet according to the Western Organization of Resource Councils the oil and gas industry used over 250 million gallons of water here for fracking wells in 2012. This is enough water to fill more than 3,700 Olympic sized swimming pools.

5)    In January of this year, 31,000 gallons of Bakken crude oil spilled into the Yellowstone River. This spill contaminated the drinking water of Glendive, Montana residents with a witches’ brew of volatile organic chemicals.

6)    Montana attorney general Tim Fox recently filed a lawsuit against the Clean Water Rule, one of the biggest steps forward for clean water in more than a decade, and now a court ruling left 63% of Montana’s streams once again without clear protection under the Clean Water Act.