Mining railroad discovered under Anaconda football field could b - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Mining railroad discovered under Anaconda football field could be contaminated

Posted: Updated:

ANACONDA- Residents were shocked last week to learn Mitchell Stadium was shut down due to the discovery of possibly contaminated railroad tracks running under the stadium. 

On Friday, October 26, the school's maintenance crew was digging for a sewage pipe when they discovered railroads tracks under the stadium. The historic railroad tracks would have carried potentially hazardous heavy metals from the old Butte mining days.

"There's the potential that anything could have spilled and gone off these railroad carts and could be leaking into the soil," says Anaconda School Superintendent Justin Barnes. "It makes it a contaminated area."

The tracks are believed to be from the early 1900s from the Anaconda Smelter. Barnes said the stadium was built more than 50 years ago. 

Barnes says Environmental Protection Agency scientists recently tested the soil at the stadium. However, the EPA only tested the soil a foot deep and the tracks are over a foot and a half underground.

Barnes also doesn't believe the EPA tested the area the tracks were located. 

Residents are shocked over the possible contamination. 

"The community is very down and hurt because they should have taken more action and consideration for the kids sake and their safety," said Anaconda resident Becky Hotalen. 

Ed Morris said he was born and raised in Anaconda. He played football at Mitchell Stadium and is concerned by the findings.

"It needs to be fixed for future generations," Morris said. "I believe it should be fixed and taken care of."

The school called in the EPA and Atlantic Richfield Company to test the soil further and determine if the soil is contaminated.

Barnes said the school is being cautious by shutting down the stadium.

"We just don’t want our kids or our community exposed to anything that could potentially be dangerous for them," said Barnes. 

No sporting events have been interrupted at this time by the closure. If the soil is found to be contaminated, Barnes said the cleanup could take months.

arnes hopes Mitchell Stadium can remain Anaconda's sporting field. 

"It has a lot of historical value to the people that played on it before and to the kids still going there," Barnes said. "It's a very nice stadium. One of the nicer in the state. We really want to keep it if possible."

  • Most Popular

Powered by Frankly


  • More Features
  • Powered by WorldNow
    All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 Cowles Montana Media. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.