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Columbia Falls Aluminum Officials Hope To Avoid Superfund Designation

Columbia Falls Aluminum Company
Courtesy Columbia Falls Aluminum Company
Columbia Falls Aluminum Company

The Columbia Falls Aluminum Company (CFAC) reached a deal with the Environmental Protection Agency yesterday to begin investigating cleanup options for the former aluminum smelter. CFAC officials hope their work will be good enough to avoid a Superfund listing.

CFAC’s investigation into the contamination in the soil, river sediments, and ground and surface water at site will take 4 years and $4 million to complete.

John Stroiazzo is CFAC’s project manager.

“We would like to avoid Superfund designation in any case.”

Whether the aluminum smelter is added to Superfund list will depend on the ability of CFAC’s private contractors to investigate, and how much contamination is found at the site.

“At this point in time we are not listed, but we could be depending on our performance and how things go with the project.”

Sites can be placed on the National Priority List of Superfund sites twice a year. The earliest the CFAC site could be placed on the list would be next spring.

A public meeting to discuss the investigation and next steps will be held in Columbia Falls January 21.

Corin Cates-Carney manages MTPR’s daily and long-term news projects. After spending more than five years living and reporting across Western and Central Montana, he became news director in early 2020.
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