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Justice Department Moves To Lift Butte Superfund Gag Order

Uptown Butte, MT.
Josh Burnham
Uptown Butte, MT

The U.S. Department of Justice today filed a motion to lift the gag order on the new agreement to clean up a big portion of the Butte Superfund site. That agreement could result in part of the site being removed from the Superfund list by 2024.

In late January a regional EPA administrator visited Butte and announced the agency had reached a “conceptual agreement” with the state, Silver Bow County and Atlantic Richfield Company regarding the Butte Priority Soils area. But the announcement noted that the parties involved were not allowed to release details of the new agreement because negotiations were still under a pre-existing gag order.

Today's legal motion means that the EPA and Atlantic Richfield are now formally asking a federal judge to make the conceptual agreement public. There is no timeline for when the court will act on the request.

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