Montana Public Radio

Deadline For Butte Superfund Deal Pushed Back

Oct 11, 2019

Montana’s Mining City inches closer and closer to having a final Superfund deal for the cleanup of the Butte Hill and urban creek corridors, but the ink still isn’t quite dry.

Friday was the latest deadline for when the parties in charge of Butte’s Superfund cleanup were supposed to finish hammering out the last details of the legally binding deal. But they’re not going to meet it.

The negotiating parties include the Environmental Protection Agency, the state, Butte-Silver Bow county, and former oil company Atlantic Richfield.

The final deal, or consent decree, will spell out exactly who is doing what and paying for each remaining puzzle piece of Butte’s extensive mine waste cleanup, which has been ongoing for more than 30 years.

Earlier this week, a spokesperson with EPA Region 8 said the agency anticipated the consent decree parties would reach the Friday deadline, and put their pens down.

But this afternoon, EPA stated in an email that the parties requested additional time to address a handful of unresolved technical issues, and they now have until mid next week to finish the negotiations.

Related: Richest Hill: A podcast about the past, present and future of one of American's most notorious Superfund sites