Blackfeet Environmental Office - Protecting the Blackfeet Nation's Natural Resources
Blackfeet Environmental Office, Blackfeet Nation, Browning, Montana

Blackfeet Brownfields Program
EPA funded Sites

Blackfeet Brownfields Program, Blackfeet Nation, Browning, Montana.

Blackfeet Writing Instruments, Inc.

The Blackfeet Writing Instruments, Inc. (pencil factory) is located approximately one mile south of Browning on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in northwest Montana. The factory is located within a small industrial park in the southeast quarter of Section 15, Township 32 North, Range 11 West in Glacier County, Montana. A highway designated as BIA Route 1 connects the Town of Browning to the Blackfeet Writing Instruments' location.

The Industrial Park where the factory is located is in an area of glacially deposited, low rolling hills east of the Rocky Mountains. A small wetland area is located east of the factory. A small draw/ditch runs adjacent to the factory and is an intermittent tributary to Depot Creek.

On October 12, 1989 two laborers working in an earthen trench on the northeastern corner of the pencil factory building were overcome by fumes emanating from the work hole opened in order to repair the main water pipe to the factory. Testing was conducted on the shallow ground water, soil and the drinking water supply lines within the factory. The solvent trichloroethene (TCE) was present in these tests.

Testing was conducted by the Ecology and Environment, Inc. Technical Assistance Team (TAT). The identified source of the subsurface solvent contamination was a small diameter discharge pipe located from within the northeast wall of the pencil factory. A perforated 55-gallon drum was placed in the ground at the surface outside the building. The solvent was dispensed into this 55-gallon drum, five to ten gallons were deposited daily into the drum. The duration of this practice had been reported to be from 1972 until 1981.

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