By Greeley Neighborhood Community Development Corp. and Montana Environmental Information Center, The Montana Standard
It’s not often that a mining company and an environmental group agree on something, but it’s clear from Montana Resources’ survey and Mark Thompson’s position in the press: We all want the Greeley neighborhood residents to be confident that they are breathing clean air.
Our two organizations, the Greeley Neighborhood Community Development Corp. (GNCDC) and Montana Environmental Information Center, have been working on behalf of concerned residents living adjacent to the active copper and molybdenum mine.
Many families in Greeley have lived there for generations. Children live and play, and elders spend their twilight years enjoying the neighborhood that many grew up in. It’s hard to miss the dust that flies through the air from the mine and accumulates in yards and on vehicles. Based on studies, we know the dust contains airborne heavy metal particulates that coat the surfaces of vehicles and homes and that we and our children breathe in. From 2018 through 2020, the recent air quality sampling in Greeley recorded annual averages of fine particles (PM 2.5) that ranged from more than 7 to nearly 10 micrograms per cubic meter. The World Health Organization recommends exposure to no more than 5.
While the jury is still out on the potential health impacts of chronic exposure to air pollution from the mine, everyone agrees that Montana Resources can and should (and seems willing) to do more.
With this in mind, we respectfully ask for support and action from Butte’s government and Montana Resources owner Dennis Washington in mitigating the air pollution coming from Montana Resources. This is an opportunity to work with the community to take meaningful action in cleaning the air.