Montana selects Helena company for bulk of cleanup of Superfund site
Helena Sand and Gravel's $7.2-million bid to clean up the bulk of tailings left behind at the Mike Horse Dam Superfund Site in Montana near the headwaters of the Blackfoot River, with the two-year contract to employ 26 workers and use 11 side-dump semi trailers to move the waste from its current location to the repository 6.5 miles away.
Helena Independent Record; July 18
Spate of human-caused wildfires in Idaho brings task force to state
A team of five fire prevention experts have arrived in Idaho's Magic Valley to help state officials get the word out about wildfire conditions after more than a dozen fires have burned more than 42,075 acres in that area of the state.
Twin Falls Times-News; July 18
B.C. wildfire forces evacuation of hundreds of home in Okanagan area
A wildfire first reported on Thursday near West Kelowna grew quickly to nearly 500 acres in size and required the evacuation of an estimated 1,250 homes in southern British Columbia.
Toronto Globe and Mail; July 9
Colorado city begins condemnation proceeding on power transmission system
On Thursday, Boulder filed a condemnation lawsuit seeking to take over a portion of Xcel Energy's electric distribution system that serves the Colorado city.
Denver Post (Boulder Daily Camera); July 18
California town joins Montana city's fight to control water company
Apple Valley's water utility is also owned by Park Water Co., a wholly owned company that is owned by a division of the Carlyle Group, which Missoula is suing to gain control of its Mountain West water utility, and now the California and Montana communities are working together on their shared quest to control the water companies in their cities.
Missoulian; July 18
USGS releases new earthquake risk map
Parts of five western states moved into a higher risk category for earthquakes in the updated U.S. Geological Survey's map of earthquake risk that put parts of Utah, Washington, Oregon, Oklahoma, Colorado, Wyoming and Tennessee into the top two hazard zones.
Salt Lake Tribune (AP); July 18
Colorado allows waste-reinjection well in Weld County to reopen
The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has completed its investigation of seismic activity near a deep reinjection well for oil and gas waste in Weld County, and after the company plugged the bottom of the well to keep fluids from permeable rock at that level, the commission has approved the well to again be used for disposal of waste fluids.
Denver Post; July 18
Group asks USFS to halt work on restaurant atop Utah mountain
Save our Canyons asserts that Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort has made enough substantial changes in its plan for a restaurant atop Hidden Peak in Utah since the U.S. Forest Service approved the project 15 years ago to spark a new environmental analysis of the controversial project, which broke ground this May, with a planned opening in the fall of next year.
Salt Lake Tribune; July 18
Sierra Club director puts odds of Idaho national monument better than 50-50
Michael Brune, the executive director of The Sierra Club, stopped in Boise on his way to a camping trip in the area of the Idaho's Boulder-White Cloud Mountains that has been proposed for designation as a national monument, and he said that feedback he's received from federal officials makes him optimistic that such a designation will be made.
Spokane Spokesman-Review (AP); uly 18
Mountain West News is a project of the Center for the Rocky Mountain West at The University of Montana. It provides a daily snapshot of news and opinion in the Rocky Mountain region of North America, giving the changing mountain West a tool to understand itself and a platform for the exchange of ideas.