Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper

Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Environmental Studies

Department or School/College

Environmental Studies Program

Committee Co-chair

Vicki Watson, Edward Rosenberg

Commitee Members

Garon Smith


arsenic, energy development, metals, Northern Cheyenne, water quality


University of Montana


Located in southeastern Montana, the Northern Cheyenne Reservation sits within the Powder River Basin energy development boundary. The Northern Cheyenne Tribe (Tribe) has had a long history of resisting energy development on the reservation. The Tribe has also opposed off-reservation development that impacts reservation water, air, and cultural resources. Current coal bed methane and coal mine developments near the reservation threaten the quality of life for the Northern Cheyenne people. Trace metal content of the surface waters on the reservation have not been adequately studied. Providing baseline data for future reference for the Tribe will be beneficial for their future studies of impacts to Tribal natural resources. This paper analyzes arsenic and heavy metals levels in surface waters on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. The Crazy Head Springs site located in the central portion of the reservation exceeded the U. S. drinking water standard for arsenic. This spring is important to the Tribe culturally and is used as a water source for Tribal members as well as for livestock watering and agriculture irrigation. Zr-BPAP Silica Polyamine Composite, a selective arsenate adsorbent developed at the University of Montana, was used to treat the Crazy Head Spring in the laboratory. Zr-BPAP was used to extract arsenic using a breakthrough filtering system. Zr-BPAP was shown to reduce arsenic below U. S. drinking water standards to render the spring water safe for human consumption. Recommendations are made for a water quality monitoring plan and for revisions to tribal water quality standards.



© Copyright 2010 chauncey allan means