MTPR

mining

Montana capitol, Helena.
William Marcus

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Republican lawmakers failed to get enough support to call a special session to consider referenda to counter two proposed ballot initiatives.

David Dorian, an environmental health specialist with ATSDR, discusses a new exposure investigation at a public meeting at Anaconda High School. July 11, 2018.
Nora Saks

A federal public health agency is starting a new investigation to find out if contaminants left behind from a century of copper smelting in Anaconda still pose a risk to human health.

The study was announced Wednesday at Anaconda High School in front of a crowd of about 40 residents, and will be trying to answer the question, "Are exposures to arsenic and lead at levels currently that could adversely affect people’s health?"

Anaconda smelter stack as seen in 2007.
(PD)

This week, federal, state and local public health officials will be in Anaconda to update residents on their plan for studying health concerns related to the Anaconda Smelter Superfund site.

A vote count released Monday morning on the proposed special session of the Montana Legislature shows the call is not possible without votes from both sides of the aisle.

Republicans are so divided on the proposed special session that it won’t happen without support from the Democratic minority.

Montana Capitol, Helena, MT.
William Marcus

State lawmakers will formally vote on a proposal for the Legislature to come back to Helena for a July 16 special session.

Secretary of State Corey Stapleton tweeted just before five Wednesday afternoon that his office will send out ballots to legislators as soon as possible.

The effort to convene a special session comes at the request of Republicans concerned about a pair of citizens initiatives that will likely appear on ballots this November.

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