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Casper secures ~$67K grant from North Platte River Foundation to pay for environmental monitoring

In 2019, dirt road structures in the river were temporarily put in place to help isolate sections being worked on to prevent pollution from escaping downstream. (Brendan LaChance, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — The Casper City Council voted 8–0 on Tuesday to authorize the City of Casper’s acceptance of a $66,680 grant from the North Platte River Foundation to pay for environmental monitoring related to restoration of the First Street Reach stretch of the river.

The grant money from the North Platte River Foundation will cover costs of environmental monitoring required under permits from the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the First Street Reach project. The grant will cover all monitoring costs and the city is not required to provide match funding, according to a memo from city staff.

Hydrocarbon releases and other contamination related to previous BP activity in the area were encountered during 2019 channel construction work on the First Street Reach section of the river. As a result, BP Products North America gave the city $402,016.13 in 2021.

The hydrocarbon releases and contamination led to delays on the project and cost overages totaling $681,719.13, according to a 2021 memo from city staff. The First Street Reach restoration work was completed in December 2020, about a year behind schedule.

The First Street Reach restoration work was just a piece of an overall project to restore seven priority areas as part of the Platte River Revival Project. The overall cost estimate for riverbank and in-river restoration work totals $30 million, according to the June 21 staff memo. Various phases of the work are already complete.

The staff memo explaining the grant and the grant agreement itself can be viewed below:

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