- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 21, 2015

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - The city of Colstrip has been awarded $500,000 to upgrade its wastewater treatment plant.

Gov. Steve Bullock announced the award from the Montana Coal Board on Monday.

Bullock spokesman Wessler says that the coal industry’s sizeable presence in the 2,300-person city has increased demands on Colstrip’s 37-year-old water treatment plant, necessitating improvements.

Several large mines operate in the area. Colstrip also is home to a 2,100-megawatt power plant that is one of the largest producers of coal-fired electricity in the western U.S.

The governor’s office says a recent report found problems with the Colstrip wastewater plant’s pre-treatment facilities, creating a health risk for its operators. City officials say the money from the coal board would be used to help fix the problems.

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