In order to better garner the opinion of the Anaconda-Deer Lodge County community, the United States National Forest Service (USFS) has extended the public comment period for the proposed remediation of the Georgetown Railroad Bed Site until January 17th.
The proposed remediation addresses the portion of the Georgetown Extension between the Southern Cross Removal Action area – completed in 2007 – and the West Valley Removal Action area – completed in 2012. By-products of the smelting process, such as slag, were used as ballast during the construction of the railroad. This was a common practice at the time; however, numerous studies have identified elevated levels of contaminates such as lead and arsenic. The proposed remedial designs include the removal of contaminated ballast as well as any underlying soils with levels greater than 400ppm (parts per million) of lead and 250ppm of arsenic.
A representative of the USFS stated that the agency would be amiable to the creation of a graveled trail utilizing the historic Georgetown Railroad, if such an endeavor were to be funded and maintained by a local community organization/entity. A Federal mandate prohibits the USFS from adding new trail miles due to limited funding. Discussions are currently taking place with various local organizations.
Comments regarding the proposed remediation of the Georgetown Railroad Bed Site can be sent to Mr. Bob Wintergerst at:
Bob Wintergerst, On Scene Coordinator
USDA Forest Service-Northern Regional Office
Regional Engineering Group
5785 Highway 10 W
Missoula, MT 59807
Questions regarding the Georgetown Railroad Bed Site or other Superfund issues are welcomed by the Arrowhead Foundation at (406) 563.5538 ext 15 or firstname.lastname@example.org.