EPA: Gag Order Lifted On Butte Superfund Cleanup Agreement

May 22, 2018

A federal judge Tuesday partially lifted the gag order on a big part of the Butte Superfund cleanup agreement. That’s according to a press release from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The parties to that agreement will hold two public meetings to explain what it’s all about on May 30 at Montana Tech Auditorium, from noon to 1:30 p.m. and from 6 to 8 p.m.

It’s being called a “conceptual agreement” between the EPA, the State of Montana, Silver Bow County and Atlantic Richfield to clean up to the Butte Priority Soils Operable Unit of the larger Superfund site.

The agreement was reached in January, but details couldn’t be revealed due to a pre-existing gag order.

Last week the U.S. Department of Justice formally asked a federal judge to lift the gag order, at the request of the EPA and Atlantic Richfield. Today the judge OK’d lifting a portion of it.

The EPA says that means they’ll be able to release major terms of the cleanup agreement for Butte Priority Soils. The agency says the public will be allowed to review and comment on the cleanup agreement before a formal decision is made on modifying existing remedies and implementing future work.