Restoring Silver Bow Creek After More than 100 Years of Mining — A Superfund Story


Joe Griffin

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 9-5-2019


Silver Bow Creek is a world-class environmental-cleanup challenge that has required scientists, engineers, and lawyers to define the problems, develop remedies and determine the real limits of restoring a river. Having made order-of-magnitude improvements in water quality by a combination of managing groundwater, excavating tailings and rebuilding the stream and its floodplain along a 27-mile corridor, and reclaiming over 600 acres of waste rock, now mine-impacted urban storm-water is the most substantial remaining contamination source. Finding the practicable limit to restoring the stream IS a complex endeavor that begs the question, “why is it taking so long?”

Streaming Media


Hydrogeologist Joe Griffin has spent the last 30 years evaluating the upper Clark Fork Superfund complex, as a consultant to Atlantic Richfield, a project manager for Montana DEQ, and now as a serious hobbyist.