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58 minutes | 5 months ago
Richest Hill Episode 10: We Wear Butte Proudly On Our Skin
Right after talking to a psychic about my own path and Butte’s, I felt comforted. It felt good to let someone else take the wheel for a while, you know? But that comfort turned out to be temporary. Soon, those vague answers about the future only gave birth to more questions. It got me wondering, is it really possible for a town that was built on extraction to experience a complete paradigm shift - towards reclamation and renewal? What does moving on from a toxic mess of this magnitude even mean? And what could Butte stand for in a post Superfund world?
51 minutes | 8 months ago
Richest Hill Episode 09: Butte Never Says Die!
The core of the Superfund deal itself, and how it proposes to solve Butte’s lingering environmental problems forever, is really important and complicated, both legally and technically. And no wonder. Three levels of government — the county, state and feds — plus a former oil company, all had to settle their differences, and agree on how to clean up, once and for all, the rest of the environmental bust left behind by Butte’s historic copper mining boom. So today, we’re gonna try to get our arms all the way around it. And take a closer look at what’s actually in this very big deal and whether the Mining City believes that after all of its sacrifices, this is a big enough reward. This is Episode 9: Butte Never Says Die.
2 minutes | 8 months ago
Like 'Richest Hill'? Check Out 'Shared State'
Hi all, Richest Hill host Nora Saks here. I wanted to pop in real quick to let you know that episode 9, which we're calling 'Butte never says die,' is almost done and will be out very soon. In the mean time, I want to tell you about another podcast coming your way. It's called Shared State and it's a collaboration between Montana Public Radio, Yellowstone Public Radio and Montana Free Press. It's the first time we're all doing something together like this, and it's worth your time.
48 minutes | a year ago
Richest Hill Episode 08: The Art Of The Superfund Deal
Recently, we let the cat out of the bag and told you that Butte’s Superfund parties reached a very big deal ; one that will clean up the Mining City forever. That sounds like good news, and I hope it is. But as someone who lives right in the heart of a Superfund megasite, lately I’ve been experiencing some cognitive dissonance. During his reign, President Trump has radically transformed the Environmental Protection Agency. I haven’t known how to square the EPA's cheerleading on Superfund with the Trump Administration’s overall track record on the environment, and whether all the action we’re seeing in Butte, Montana is the Superfund exception, or the rule.
50 minutes | a year ago
Richest Hill Episode 07: The Possibilities Are Endless, And The Choice Is Ours
After reporting on Superfund for several years, it’s obvious to me that everyone here wants the best possible cleanup for their town. And, there are very different definitions of what that means. A lot of folks in Butte are fired up about bringing a stretch of the long-dead Silver Bow Creek back to life. And on the surface, I get it. Superfund is huge and complicated, full of thousands of pages of technical documents, and abstract legal requirements like water quality standards. Whereas a beautiful free flowing stream? That’s something tangible, easy to get jazzed up about.
2 minutes | a year ago
EPA To Announce Final Butte Cleanup Deal
This season on Richest Hill you’ve been hearing all about what mining meant for Butte, the toxic legacy it left behind, and about sprawling efforts to clean it up that have spanned more than 30 years. And this week, something big is gonna happen.
53 minutes | a year ago
Richest Hill Episode 06: Our Most Cherished Beliefs
After more than 30 years in limbo without a final cleanup agreement, the ink is drying on Butte’s big Superfund deal as we speak. What it means and why it matters has everything to do with what played out when Superfund came to Montana’s Mining City. So today we’re asking: back in those early days of Superfund, who were the players, and what was the game? This is episode 06: Our Most Cherished Beliefs .
37 minutes | 2 years ago
Richest Hill Episode 05: Out Of The Frying Pan, Into The Fire
From Evel Knievel to a 'Great Flood' and on to the dawning of the Superfund era, Episode 5 looks at the origins of the government program designed to force whoever made the mess to clean it up.
41 minutes | 2 years ago
Richest Hill Episode 04: We Gave It To The Pit
I live a mile away from the Berkeley Pit, the mile by mile and a half wide former open-pit mine, which is now filled with a 50 billion gallon toxic lake. Every time I visit, I leave hyper aware of the contradictions and compromises that go hand in glove with industrialization. I find myself wondering: who thought chiseling a colossal hole in the Earth was a good idea, and why? So today, let’s take a dive, figuratively, into open pit mining and some controversial decisions made late last century that changed Butte’s land, people, and environmental legacy forever. This is Episode 4: We Gave it to the Pit.
10 minutes | 2 years ago
Richest Hill: Behind The Scenes With Butte Artist BT Livermore
We're hard at work on episode 4 of Richest Hill , and still covering lots of Superfund news in Butte right now. In the mean time, meet one of the artists who's contributed to this project behind the scenes. BT Livermore,"maker of things and provider of services," designed the Richest Hill logo, and does lots of other creative work in the Mining City. He explains the thinking behind the logo, and why he feels a sense of hope in Butte.
36 minutes | 2 years ago
Richest Hill Episode 03: First And Last Warning
In August 1917, Frank Little was the victim of a grisly murder in Butte. Little was a labor organizer who came to Butte to unify and radicalize Butte’s miners in their fight against the Anaconda Mining Company for higher wages and safer working conditions. Most historians believe that the Anaconda Company was behind Little’s killing, but no one knows for sure. A note pinned to his underwear threatened, "Others take notice: first and last warning," along with the numbers 3-7-77, the calling card of frontier vigilantes.
1 minutes | 2 years ago
Murder, Frank Little, And Butte's Superfund Cleanup: What's The Connection?
Hey there loyal Richest Hill listeners, Nora Saks here. I wanted to let you know that we’re hard at work on Episode 3. Who was Frank Little? And what could his grisly murder more than a century ago possibly have to do with Butte’s Superfund cleanup? That’s one of the questions we’ll be asking in Episode 3, which is coming at you the first week of April. Stay with us for more about Butte's past, present and future!
31 minutes | 2 years ago
Richest Hill Episode 02: For The Benefit Of Mankind
At first glance, Butte, Montana's mutilated industrial landscape is often written-off as an ecological sacrifice-zone. Dirty, ugly as sin and regrettable, but necessary to supply the country with perhaps the most basic necessity of the Electrical Age: Copper. But if you take the time to really look carefully, what you find here will challenge, surprise and even change you. Take a closer look at the copper that put the Richest Hill on the map; the city's storied past; and the nostalgia and sense of purpose that pervade the Mining City, right now on Richest Hill episode two.
17 minutes | 2 years ago
Richest Hill Episode 01: Butte's Precarious Arrangement
Richest Hill episode 01: Get to know Butte, Montana, one of America's biggest Superfund sites and one of Montana’s most compelling places. Richest Hill is a new podcast about the past, present and future of Butte, America, "The Richest Hill on Earth."
2 minutes | 2 years ago
Richest Hill Episode 00: Series Preview
Butte Montana is famous. It was at one time the biggest city between Chicago and San Francisco. It’s in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, and sits at the headwaters of the mighty Columbia River, which flows all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Butte boomed and thrived for almost a century because of one thing: copper. Butte’s massive copper deposit was key to America’s success. The “Richest Hill on Earth” literally electrified the nation, and made the brass in bullets that won World Wars I and II. But in the 1980s, the last of the big mines shut down. Now, most of the riches are gone, and Butte is struggling.
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