Montana Public Radio

Anaconda-Deer Lodge County

Anaconda smelter stack as seen in 2007.
(PD)

Anaconda residents are coming to grips with an agreement recently released to the public that will revamp the Superfund cleanup in the area. The public had their first chance to weigh-in on the proposed deal at  meeting this week.

The Washoe Smelter Stack in Anaconda.
Nora Saks / Montana Public Radio

Public meetings over a newly released agreement guiding the remainder of the Anaconda Superfund cleanup will be held over the first two weeks of March.

Anaconda smelter stack as seen in 2007.
(PD)

Anaconda-Deer Lodge County has reached a nearly $30 million agreement with a former oil producer to clean up an old smelter site, according to the Montana Standard.

Butte residents gathered at a Superfund health study meeting to discuss a range of health concerns with agency officials and health department staff. October 30, 2018.
Nora Saks / Montana Public Radio

A new analysis by the state health department says that the rate of new cancer diagnoses in Silver Bow County is about the same as the rest of Montana.

But at a council of commissioners meeting Wednesday night in Butte, state cancer epidemiologist Heather Zimmerman said that's not the case for cancer mortalities.

The Pittsmont Dump at Montana Resources' mine in Butte is the "final resting place" for the Parrot Tailings. September 2018.
Nora Saks / MTPR

A new study on human health risks associated with mining recently made waves in Butte, and on Thursday the author is giving a talk at Montana Tech to discuss her findings with the public.

Cathy Price retired to Anaconda ten years ago, and decided to get tested for lead and arsenic. September 14, 2018.
Nora Saks

Over the weekend, the federal agency that investigates human health risks at Superfund sites offered free lead and arsenic testing in Anaconda. They collected blood and urine samples from two hundred willing locals. The tests will reveal if they’ve recently been exposed to dangerous amounts of heavy metals, and how.

David Dorian, an environmental health specialist with ATSDR, discusses a new exposure investigation at a public meeting at Anaconda High School. July 11, 2018.
Nora Saks

The federal agency that investigates health risks at Superfund sites is in Anaconda this coming weekend offering free arsenic and lead testing to the first 200 people to sign up.

Results from this study could influence the final cleanup deal currently being negotiated for the Anaconda Smelter Superfund site.

The Washoe Smelter Stack in Anaconda.
Nora Saks / Montana Public Radio

Over the weekend, the parties involved in Anaconda’s Superfund cleanup reached an “agreement in principle,” meeting the deadline set by the Environmental Protection Agency just in the nick of time. In April, an EPA regional administrator set a new deadline for a cleanup agreement of July 31.

That strategy worked. On Saturday night, the parties successfully reached a conceptual cleanup agreement for the Anaconda Smelter Superfund site.

David Dorian, an environmental health specialist with ATSDR, discusses a new exposure investigation at a public meeting at Anaconda High School. July 11, 2018.
Nora Saks

A federal public health agency is starting a new investigation to find out if contaminants left behind from a century of copper smelting in Anaconda still pose a risk to human health.

The study was announced Wednesday at Anaconda High School in front of a crowd of about 40 residents, and will be trying to answer the question, "Are exposures to arsenic and lead at levels currently that could adversely affect people’s health?"

Anaconda smelter stack as seen in 2007.
(PD)

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.