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Bill to clean up mines near reservation advances

A Montana Senate committee unanimously endorsed a bill to clean up two abandoned mines near the Fort Belknap Reservation.

The Zortman-Landusky gold mines have contaminated the local water supply. The state says the water will need to be treated forever but money is an issue.

Rep. Jonathan Windy Boy (D), a member of the Chippewa Cree Tribe, sponsored a bill to create a trust fund for the reclamation. Every year until 2018 -- when $34 million in state funds will run out -- $1.2 million will be deposited into the account to ensure there is money to continue the cleanup. The bill has already passed the House.

The mines were built on land taken from the Fort Belknap tribes in the late 1800s. The Little Rocky Mountains, a sacred area, were destroyed by the mines.

Get the Story:
Zortman-Landusky gold mine cleanup plan supported (The Billings Gazette 4/7)

Relevant BLM Documents:
Record of Decision | Final Environmental Impact Statement

Relevant Links:
Fort Belknap Community Council -

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