Seems the Yellowstone River will be dealing with what the Gulf of Mexico has been dealing with for more than a year now. And we are again reminded that that cleaning things up is so much harder than not making the mess in the first place.
This time, the still-high Yellowstone River flows are illustrating how pollutants are transported far downstream making a mess on shorelines for miles and miles. Sound familiar? The Yellowstone River is facing this one-time high-water catastrophe, with a deep-pocketed responsible party, and an oil pollutant, much of which will disperse and simply evaporate. Our Coeur d’Alene River gets tons of mining waste every flood, with heavy metal pollutants that don’t disperse and never go away.
With our local cleanup going into a third decade, with at least five more decades of cleanup to go, we are heartbroken for the Yellowstone River and our friends in Montana. Sadly, we know what it’s like.