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Full text of "Preliminary environmental assessment / <1981>-[1989]"

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Montana State Library 

3 0864 1006 7498 8 






June 16, 1987 

Re: Preliminary Environmental Review 
GT Auto Salvage 

Greg & Verlund Thomas, GT Auto Salvage, 348 Squaw Creek Road, Huntley 
Board of County Commissioners, County Courthouse, Billings 
Bob Niles, Yellowstone County Junk Vehicle Program, Courthouse, Billings 
Bill Arnold, Yellowstone County Planning Office, Courthouse, Billings 
Scott Peterson, Billings Regional Office, P.0. Box 20296, Billings 
Roland & Linda Burke, 290 Squaw Creek Road, Huntley, MT 59037 
Clarence 1. Walter, 1135 Clark Ave., Billings, MT 59102 
William Davison & Deborah D. Gallop, Gardena Paquette, 5 Sauer Terrace, 
Durham, NH 03824 

Bruce & Charlotte Coan, 969 Pryor Creek Road, Huntley, MT 59037 
Elmer F. Link, 2201 Fairway Drive, Billings, MT 59102 
Kenneth D. & Wilma Neumann, 2802 Vermillion Dr., Billings, MT 59102 
John & Jeannie Waggoner, 2918 Rimrock Road, Billings, MT 59102 
Arthur & Bennie Siewert, Huntley, MT 59037 

Minnesota-Montana Investment Co., c/o Rolfe Worden, 4344 IDS Center, 
Minneapolis, MN 55402 

Rita & Norman Jones, Jr., P.0. Box 2, Huntley, MT 59037 

Thomas & Donna Beesley, 3953 Hwy 10 East, Billings, MT 59105 

Don & Marie Davidson, Route 3, Billings, MT 59105 

Northwestern Union Trust Co., P.0. Box 30058, Billings, MT 59107 

Thomas & Ailene Carr, 405 South 37th Street, Billings, MT 59101 

Joseph Rawlins, c/o Roy and Cristine Mace, Box 508, Broadus, MT 59317 

Lillian LeRoy, 3036 Lloyd Mangrum Ln. , Billings, MT 59106 

Jesus & Sandra Gonzales, Huntley, MT 59037 

Arthur Jr. & Debbie Siewert, P.0. Box 14, Huntley, MT 59037 
Jake & Colleen Ellison, Huntley, MT 59037 
Victor & Velma Bruski, Huntley, MT 59037 
Howard & Judith Osmundson, Huntley, MT 59037 
Walter & Margaretha Siewert, P.0. Box 240, Huntley, MT 59037 
Pryor Creek Land & Development Co., Huntley, MT 59037 
Ronald & James Koch, 236 Ashley Court North, Billings, MT 59105 
John & Jeanne Cellan, Route 1, Huntley, MT 59037 
William & Renna Mullen, 7271 84th Place No. 1903, Arvado, CO 80003 
Rodney & Luetta Hammontree, 3614 White Buffalo Road, Huntley, MT 59037 
Steve & Theresia Anton, Route 1, Huntley, MT 59037 
Cornelius Anton, P.0. Box 216-B, Huntley, MT 59037 
Galen J. Anton, P.0. Box 216-C, Huntley, MT 59037 
Steve & Jeri Anton, 3479 White Buffalo Road, Huntley, MT 59037 
Michael & Jackie Mullin, P.0. Box 211-A, Huntley, MT 59037 u ‘ 

Fred & Jppnrip Rnrklev. P.O. Rnv 1 Hunflov MT SQn^7 

Fred & Jeanne Buckley, P.O. Box 134, Huntley, MT 59037 
George & Joyce Simko, 3632 Justice Trail, Huntley, MT 59037 




. t 

AN equal opportunity employer 

Resident, 3410 White Buffalo Road, Huntley, MT 59037 

Albert & Danna Adams, RR1 Buffalo Bluffs, Huntley, MT 59037 

Darwin Paffrath, 3824 Hangman Road, Huntley, MT 59037 

George & Laurie Haddenhorst, P.0. Box 207, Huntley, MT 59037 

Buffalo Bluffs Company, 2029 Grand Avenue, Billings, MT 59102 

Daniel & Billie Kilbride, 3205 Green Terrace Drive, Billings, MT 59102 

Yellowstone Boys & Girls Ranch, Inc., Box 2549, Billings, MT 59103 

Norman Wall, 1115 Frederick Lane, Billings, MT 59102 

Eugene & Irene Walth, 2531 Rocky Cliff Trail, Huntley, MT 59037 

Joseph L. Bredwick, 145 Hilltop Road, Billings, MT 59106 

Tom Ellerhoff, Environmental Sciences Division, DHES , Helena, MT 

Environmental Quality Council, Capitol Complex, Helena, MT 

Documents Section, State Library, Capital Complex, Helena, MT 

Ladies and Gentlemen: 

Pursuant to the Administrative Rules of Montana, 16.2.604, the 
following Preliminary Environmental Review has been prepared by the 
Department of Health and Environmental Sciences concerning Greg and 
Verlund Thomas/dba/GT Auto Salvage. L— 

The purpose of the Preliminary Environmental Review is to inform 
all interested governmental agencies, public groups or individuals of 
the proposed action and to determine whether or not the action may have 
a significant effect on the human environment. This Preliminary 
Environmental Review will be circulated for a period of fifteen (15) 
days at which time a decision will be made as to our future action. 

If you care to comment on this proposed action, please do so within 
the allotted time. 


Carol Fox 

Solid and Hazardous Waste Bureau 
Environmental Sciences Division 
Telephone (406) 444-2667 





Cogswell Building, Helena, Montana 59601 
(406) 444-2821 { 


Di vi si On/Bureau Environmental Sciences Division/Solid & Hazardous Waste Bureau 

Project or Application Greg Thomas and Verlund Thomas /dba/GT Auto Salvage 

Description Of Project Establish ing and licensing a motor vehicle wrecking facility 

two — mile s — southeast of Huntley, MT on Squaw Creek Road (see enclosed map). 


Comments on 

Major Moderate Minor None Unknown Attached Pages 

1. Terrestrial & aquatic 
life and habitats 

2. Water quality, quantity 
and distribution 

3. Geology & soil quality, 
stability and moisture 

4. Vegetation cover, quant 
ity and quality 

5. Aesthetics 

6. Ai r quali ty 

7. Unique, endangered, 
fragile, or limited 
environmental resources 

8. Demands on environmen- 
tal resources of land, 
water, air & energy 

9. Historical and archaeo- 
logical sites 







— J 











2 . 

3 . 

4 . 

5 . 

6 . 

8 . 

9 . 

10 . 

11 . 

12 . 

13 . 

14 , 

Social structures and 

Cultural uniqueness 
and diversity 
Local and state tax 
base & tax revenue 
Agricultural or in- 
dustrial production 
Human health 
Quantity and distri- 
bution of community 
and personal income 
Access to and quality 
of recreational and 
wilderness activitie: 
Quantity and distri- 
bution of employment 
Distribution and 
density of populatioi 
and housing 
Demands for govern- 
ment services 
Industrial & commer- 
cial activity 
Demands for energy 
Locally adopted en- 
vironmental plans & 

Transportation net- 
works & traffic flows 

Major Moderate Minor None 

Comments on 



























Other groups or agencies contacted or 

Which may have overlapping jurisdiction Yellowstone County Junk Vehicle Program, 

Yellows tone County Planning Office, Yellowstone County Health Department 

Individuals or groups contributing to this PER. Same as above. Scott Billin g 

Regional Office: Greg and Verlund Thomas.. Billings 

Recommendation concerning preparation of EIS not necessary 

PER Prepared by: carol Fox' 


GT Auto Salvage PER 
Greg & Verlund Thomas 

General Comments 

The Montana Motor Vehicle Recycling and Disposal Act requires the 
licensing and screening of motor vehicle wrecking facilities from public 
view. No junk vehicles can be visible from any point six feet above the 
centerline of a public road. A junk vehicle is a dismantled, ruined, 
wrecked or discarded motor vehicle that is inoperative and unlicensed. 

The applicants, Greg and Verlund Thomas, propose to establish and 
license a three acre wrecking facility two miles southeast of Huntley on 
Squaw Creek Road. To be licensed, a wrecking facility must meet local 
zoning regulations, be shielded from view of public roads, and not cause a 
significant impact on the environment. The purpose of this Preliminary 
Environmental Review (PER) is to determine whether the facility will cause 
a significant impact on the environment to the extent that an environmental 
impact statement is needed. 

Potential Impacts on Physical Environment 

2. Water Quality, Quantity and Distribution 

Typically, the operation of wrecking facilities over time characteris- 
tically results in accidental spillages of waste motor fluids from dis- 
mantling and recycling operations. Examples of such fluids include motor 
fuels, oil, coolant, brake fluids, and grease. Potential impacts to water 
quality exist from drainage of these fluids either into ground or surface 
waters . 

The applicants plan to drain waste motor fluids into pans either in 
their shop or in the southeast portion of their yard. The fluids will be 
disposed in accordance with hazardous waste regulations. If the applicant 
adheres to this plan, the only fluids likely to contaminate the ground and 
surface waters are those spilled accidentally. 

Because the facility is located on a hilltop, groundwater levels are 
very deep. The depth to water in the applicant's household well near the 
facility is 240'. Soils are typically silt-clay loam. Oils and waste 
fluids will travel slowly and a great distance before reaching the 

Surface runoff from the facility site travels through a draw west of 
the facility and eventually drains into Pryor Creek, located approximately 
% mile away. Since the facility is on a hilltop, it does not receive 
drainage from adjoining lands. 

Judging from inspections of other wrecking facilities, DHES considers 
this contamination potential to surface waters minor. Only flagrant 
dumping of waste fluids would cause a significant impact to surface or 
ground waters. 

Montana law prohibits the disposal of liquid or solid wastes in an 
area where they are likely to cause pollution or create a public nuisance. 

Violations of water pollution laws are enforceable by the Montana Water 
Quality Act. 

3. Geology and Soil Quality, Stability, and Moisture 

4. Vegetation Cover, Quantity and Quality 

Berming and leveling the yard will disrupt the existing vegetation 
cover and cause some soil destabilization. Given the small area to be 
disrupted, DHES considers this potential impact to be minor. 

5. Aesthetics 

The proposed site is visible from Pryor Creek Road to the west and 
northwest, and from Squaw Creek Road, Yellowstone Trail, White Buffalo 
Road, and Justice Trail to the west. The facility is located on a plateau, 
and is naturally screened from public roads to the east, north, and south 
due to site topography. 

The applicants plan to screen the facility from the west and north 
with a combination of a berm (partly constructed) and fence (see enclosed 
diagram). The juxtaposition of the site is unique in comparison with the 
topography and the public roads to the west in that the site is most 
visible as the distance from it increases. Yellowstone Trail and White 
Buffalo Road rise in elevation from Pryor Creek Road and reach the same 
elevation as the facility site. At this vantage point, the facility is 
approximately \\ miles away. That factor plus the west shielding will make 
it very difficult to visualize the operation as a motor vehicle wrecking 
facility. It will be impossible to discern any of the inventory stored at 
the site as junk vehicles. As such, the facility may be considered 
screened from public view for all practical purposes. DHES thus considers 
the potential aesthetic impact from this facility as minor. If the 
facility becomes visibly obvious as it grows in size, additional screening 
will be necessary. 

9. Historical and Archaeological Sites 

A cultural resource file search conducted by the State Historical 
Preservation office revealed no current record of historical or archae- 
ological sites at the facility site. 

Potential Impact on the Human Environment 

3. Local and State Tax Base and Tax Revenue 

6. Quantity and Distribution of Community and Personal Income 
8. Quantity and Distribution of Employment 

The successful operation of a motor vehicle wrecking facility should 
have at least a minor positive impact on any or all of the above criteria. 
The wrecking facility will serve an area, Huntley, not served by other 
wrecking facilities. In addition to employment and income opportunities for 
the applicants and any employees necessary for the business, wrecking 
facilities can have beneficial economic impacts on secondary trades and 
industries. Such trades include construction, shipping, advertising, 
vehicle repairs, and communications. 

4. Agricultural or Industrial Production 

This project will remove three acres from agricultural production. 

This impact realistically began when the area was subdivided into a parcel 

too small for agricultural use to be economically feasible. This change in 
land use is reversible. 

9. Distribution and Density of Population and Housing 

Wrecking facilities, particularly unscreened ones, are considered 
unattractive and, thus, detriments to neighboring property values. Screen- 
ing the facility from public roads should also effectively screen it from 
adjacent residences. This screening and the distance from the facility to 
existing residences will minimize the potential decrease in property 
values. However, any future residential development near the facility may 
be negatively affected from this proposal. 

The potential impact to property values from this proposed facility, 
if any, are difficult to quantify. Property values are usually protected 
by zoning or private covenants, which are not presently in effect at this 
facility site. DHES considers the potential impact to the distribution and 
density of population and housing as minor. 

10. Demands for Government Services 

A minor increase in the demand for government services may result from 
the proposal. As with any business, there may be additional need for such 
local services as law and fire protection, water, sewer, road, energy 
utilities, and solid waste disposal facilities. A minor amount of time 
will be required of state and local junk vehicle program officials to 
conduct periodic inspections to assure that the facility is maintained and 
operated in compliance with state law. 

11. Industrial and Commercial Activity 

The licensing of this facility will establish a commercial business in 
an area of predominately agricultural or rural residential use. Siting 
this facility may alter the perception that the area is exclusively 
agricultural or residential in nature and, thus, precipitate other 
commercial/industrial development nearby. However, due to the distance of 
the facility from Billings, DHES considers the potential impact of 
increased commercial development as minor. 

13. Locally Adopted Environmental Plans and Goals 

The establishment and operation of a wrecking facility at the proposed 
site does not violate any locally adopted zoning ordinances as certified on 
the application by the Yellowstone County Planning office. Currently the 
site and surrounding area is not scheduled for zoning. 

14. Transportation Networks and Traffic Flows 

A minor increase in traffic on Pryor Creek Road and Squaw Creek Road 
may result from establishing this facility. 


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environmental Sciences Divisionv 
Solid Waste Management Bureau 
Helena, Montana 59601 



Complete this form and return with attachments to: DUANE L. ROBERTSON, CHIEF 

Solid Waste Management Bureau 
Montana Department of Health and 
Environmental Sciences 
Helena, Montana 59601 

5. If you are not the owner of the premises, give name and address of lessor who 
holds title to the proper;./: 



6. Attachments: a. Map of city or county showing proposed location of facility, 

b. Drawing of proposed facility showing especially the type and 

adequacy of shielding of facility from public view and location 
of buildings. 

7. I hereby certify that the site of the planned motor vehicle wrecking facility is 
in accordance with local government zoning and ordinances. (To be uigned by 
appropriate local government official having knowledge of local zoning ordinances), 

TITLE: — ^ n r 

0F: d. ou. OtV 'Pa k\£r 

(City or County) 

8. Date (year and mont 

will begin operation: X a, 
WY Q-Oy PHONE: 2oy ? 

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