Montana Public Radio

Atlantic Richfield

A portion of the area north and west of Deer Lodge where Montana's DEQ plans to start work this fall
Montana DEQ

Montana’s Department of Environmental Quality is preparing to haul 20,000 semi-truck loads of contaminated soil from the banks of the Clark Fork River in and around Deer Lodge.

L to R - Anaconda-Deer Lodge County Commissioner Terry Vermeire, County Chief Executive Bill Everett, EPA Region 8 Administrator Doug Benevento, State Budget Director Dan Villa,  Atlantic Richfield VP Patricia Gallery in Anaconda Tuesday night.
Nora Saks

Last night Anaconda residents got their first chance to hear about the conceptual Superfund cleanup agreement reached over the weekend with the Environmental Protection Agency, but few details were shared.

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.

EPA Regional Administrator Doug Benevento meeting with Anaconda residents on April 10, 2018
Nora Saks

The clock is ticking down for parties to reach a final cleanup agreement for Anaconda’s Superfund site. 

Headframe of the Original Mine in Butte, MT.
Nora Saks

The Environmental Protection Agency is about to launch its second study of public health concerns related to Butte’s Superfund sites. But When locals found out the scope of the plan at a public meeting Tuesday, some were disappointed.

Uptown Butte, MT.
Mike Albans / Montana Public Radio

A new Superfund health study is getting underway in Butte, and this week there’s a chance for the public to learn more about it and weigh in.

Governor Bullock shovels the first dirt at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Parrot tailing removal project in Butte, June 2018.
Nora Saks

On Thursday morning, close to a hundred people gathered at an old ball field across from Butte’s Civic Center and circled around haul trucks and excavators fit for Paul Bunyan, if he was a miner, and not a lumberjack.

Both the crowd and the heavy machinery were there for the groundbreaking ceremony on the Parrot tailings removal project.

Dave Hutchins (L) and Daniel Hogan look over plans for the cleanup and restoration of the SIlver Bow Creek corridor with Julia Crain, a special projects planner with Butte-Silver Bow county's Superfund Division, June 12, 2018.
Nora Saks

Tuesday night the Environmental Protection Agency organized what it called a “public availability session and workshop” in Butte to give locals a different kind of opportunity to learn about the proposed Superfund cleanup that was unveiled last month.

Butte-Silver Bow County's Superfund Coordinator Jon Sesso stands in front of the overlook at Foreman's Park in Butte in June 2018.
Nora Saks / Montana Public Radio

  Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency unveiled some details about the proposed Superfund cleanup for Butte. This week I had a chance to interview Butte-Silver Bow County Superfund coordinator Jon Sesso at Foreman’s Park in Butte to find out what that plan might mean for the town.

EPA Region 8 Administrator Doug Benevento talks to MTPR's Nora Saks in Butte.
Eric Whitney


  In January, after 12 years of secret negotiations, top officials from the US Environmental Protection Agency came to Butte and said they now have a plan to finish the Mining City’s Superfund cleanup in just six years. They said the parties responsible for that had reached agreement on what it should include and who would pay for it.

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