Posted: Mar 21, 2013 8:45 PM by Katy Harris KXLF News
Updated: Mar 22, 2013 12:21 PM
BUTTE - Some Butte residents are raising concerns over the recent sloughing that's been occurring in the southeast corner of the Berkeley Pit.
A significant sloughing event happened last month in the southeast corner of the pit.
EPA Berkeley Pit Operable Unit Remedial Project Manager Sara Sparks says the first sloughing event was in 1998, followed by three more in between 2012 and 2013.
The eroding Berkeley Pit shore line is reminding some Butte residents about their ongoing concerns about the pit. Tensions seem to be flaring up as the water continues to rise with each sloughing.
"We have a water treatment plant in place that once the water hits a certain level, what we call the critical water level-we'll begin to pump water from the Berkeley Pit, put it through our water treatment plant and treat that water and when we discharge it, it will meet water quality standards," says Sparks.
The last sloughing event at the Berkeley Pit made the water rise by about a foot, according to Sparks.
Butte resident Mary Kay Craig says, "We need to take a real serious look at starting to pump and treat immediately so that people in the future don't have to have this big body of water hanging over their heads."
Craig is also concerned about financial assurances of the Berkeley Pit.
The EPA says human and environmental health is still protected at this time.
Ground water monitoring and testing will continue at the Berkeley Pit.
The EPA is getting ready to release an issue of Pit Watch and will address issues about the pit.