The Butte Natural Resource Damage Restoration Council (BNRC) provides recommendations to the Governor on how to spend the $28 million dedicated to restoration of the Butte Area One Site through the 2008 Consent Decree between the State of Montana and the Atlantic Richfield Co. (ARCO) for injuries to the natural resources in the Upper Clark Fork River Basin (UCFRB). The Natural Resource Damage Program (NRDP) of the Montana Department of Justice administers the settlement funds.
Decades of mining and mineral processing operations in and around Butte and Anaconda released substantial quantities of hazardous substances into the Upper Clark Fork River Basin between Butte and Milltown. These hazardous substances extensively degraded the area's natural resources.
In March 2012, the Governor approved a restoration process plan for Butte proposed by the BNRC. The BNRC solicited restoration ideas for injured surface and groundwater resources in the Butte area. In October 2012, the State produced a draft Butte Area One Restoration Plan that was developed by the BNRC, with the assistance of NRDP, and subject to public comment. In January 2013, the Governor approved a final Butte Area One Restoration Plan as proposed by the BNRC. These planning documents and restoration ideas submitted are available at the Natural Resource Damage Program (NRDP) website.