Monday, April 27, 2015

Montana's Park County diverting BNSF funds from dump cleanup

An email from a concerned Montanan has alerted this blog to a move by the Park County Commission to redirect funds awarded in a lawsuit that were intended to clean up soil contamination now in repose within the city's unlined landfill resulting from decades of spills by Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway.

Local resident and a former commissioner, Larry Lahren, took out a full-page advert in the Livingston (MT) Enterprise decrying current office-holders for their actions and offering alternative proposals.

From the email exchange:
Dear Mr. Kurtz,

As a Park County resident, I am concerned about this serious issue raised by Dr. Lahren and want to raise public awareness. The landfill sits above Chicken Creek, which flows into the Yellowstone. BNSF should ask for its money back. Fifteen years have passed and the Park County Commission has failed to take any action to remediate the landfill pollution and is misappropriating the settlement outside the jury award.

There needs to be some outside pressure put on the county commission.

(Name withheld)
Lahren has become a lightning rod for criticism painted as an outsider interfering in local governance. He is author of "Homeland: An archaeologist's view of Yellowstone Country's past."

The Yellowstone River and its tributaries are governed by the US Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District.

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