Butte city council discusses 'dirty dirt' ordinance


POSTED: 4:49 PM Jun 05 2013   UPDATED: 6:03 PM Jun 05 2013
City council discusses "dirty dirt" ordinance
BUTTE, Mont. -

Butte city leaders will take a first look at a proposed ordinance that would create rules for what officials are calling "dirty dirt."

We dug into the ordinance today and found it would require anyone who wants to dig on their property get a permit from the city first.

"Dirty dirt" is soil contaminated with mine waste.

Jon Sesso is the Director of Planning in Butte. We asked him to explain why the city might want to do this.

He told us the goal is to better protect people and the environment from contamination already in the ground, and that it shouldn't be too much of an inconvenience.

"We have also a program to help homeowners and small commercial developments with any costs associated with this problem," said Sesso. "We have the resources to do the testing. We've got the resources to truck the dirty dirt to the repository that might have contaminates in it, and we've got resources to find clean fill materials that go back into the ground."

Sesso said getting the permit should be relatively easy. Homeowners have to call the city before they dig anyway, so this will just be another step in the process.