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Feds Ready To Share Health Study Plan With Anaconda Residents

Anaconda smelter stack as seen in 2007.
Anaconda smelter stack as seen in 2007.

This week, federal, state and local public health officials will be in Anaconda to update residents on their plan for studying health concerns related to the Anaconda Smelter Superfund site.

Representatives from the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry were last in Anaconda in May to find out what kinds of health issues are on locals’ minds, and how they might be related to exposure to historic mining and smelting pollution.

David Dorian, an environmental health specialist with ATSDR, says the agency is coming back this week to follow up.

“We’re going to present our synthesis of the concerns we heard from the community, and we’re going to present a path forward in how we hope to address those concerns, in partnership with other agencies that are able to bring resources to the table," Dorian said.

ATSDR staff, together with representatives from state and county health departments, will host a public meeting on Wednesday night from 6-8 p.m. at Anaconda High School.

David Dorian says input from the community has been crucial to understanding Superfund-related health concerns there so far, and he hopes this meeting will be another chance for residents to weigh-in.

“It’s not going to be a one way street," said Dorian. "We’re going to present, and we look forward to hearing more from the community about how they view the framework that we’re presenting.”

More details about the public meeting in Anaconda can be found here.

Nora Saks is a reporter and producer based in Butte, MT.
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