The Committee awarded $50 savings bonds to four grade school students. Their science fair projects all explored important topics related to the Berkeley Pit. The Committee would also like to recognize Butte High sophomore Alexandra Antonioli, who won second place at the North Central Region 2 Science and Engineering Fair in Great Falls, MT and a grand prize, all-expense paid trip to the Intel International Science Fair in San Jose, CA for her project called, “An Evaluation of the Ability of Transgenically Modified Chlamydomonas reinhardtii To Survive and Sequester Metals from the Berkeley Pit.”
Congratulations to everyone who competed in the Fairs, and keep up the good work! Remember, the Committee will offer awards again at the 2002 Science Fair, and students are encouraged to choose projects related to the Pit for next year’s competition.
5th grade, Longfellow Elementary
Horseshoe Bend Water and the Pit
6th grade, West Elementary
Let’s Clean Up the Pit
7th grade, East Middle School
How Sugar Affects the Growth of Fungus in Pit Water Solution and the Subsequent Impact on pH
8th grade, East Middle School
How Does Berkeley Pit Water have to be Diluted in Order to be Safe for Lettuce Seedling Growth?
The visibility of the recent blowing tailings events prompted numerous questions to the Committee. Although this topic is not directly related to Superfund and mine flooding issues, the Committee wanted to provide a brief update to readers.
When Montana Resources was operating, blowing dust was not a concern because water from the concentrator and the Horseshoe Bend diversion kept the tailings wet. When milling operations were suspended and the Horseshoe Bend flow was directed back to the Pit, the tailings began drying out. By October, Montana Resources had spread about 1.5 million tons of rock, approximately eighteen inches deep, to cover about 507 acres of the Yankee Doodle Tailings Pond north of the Berkeley Pit to keep the dust down.
The blue lines in the graphic on the right indicate system in place during mine operations; these water lines were discontinued when the mine ceased operation.