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Montana Superfund Watchdog Not Surprised By EPA Chief's Resignation

Scott Pruitt resigned as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, June 5, 2018.
Scott Pruitt resigned as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, June 5, 2018.

Longtime Butte Superfund watchdog Fritz Daily says he’s not particularly surprised that Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt abruptly resigned Thursday amid various ethics investigations.

"I, like everyone else, I’m sure saw this coming just because of the ethical issues that were involved with Scott Pruitt," says Daily.

But Daily, a former state lawmaker, gives credit to Pruitt for one thing.

"Scott Pruitt had made the decision with the EPA to go back and do what the Environmental Protection Agency was challenged to do in the first place, and that was to clean up contaminated waste sites in the United States. Butte, Montana obviously is one of those sites," Daily says.

Under Pruitt’s direction EPA created a list of priority Superfund sites; a list that Butte and Anaconda are now on.

Details of a draft cleanup agreement, covering a large chunk of the Butte Hill - negotiations of which have been confidential for almost a decade - were finally released in May.

Fritz Daily is cautiously optimistic about the recent local cleanup developments, but hopes Pruitt’s replacement sees that work finished to its conclusion.

Edward O’Brien first landed at Montana Public Radio three decades ago as a news intern while attending the UM School of Journalism. He covers a wide range of stories from around the state.  
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