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

CORRECTION: This story was updated on April 12, 2018 to clarify the legal status of the Anaconda Superfund cleanup, see copy in bold below.    

The EPA’s top regional administrator set a new timeline for completing cleanup of the Anaconda Superfund site, speaking today in front of a standing-room-only crowd at the Old Works Golf Course.

"We will start in complete de-listing parts of the Anaconda Superfund site this year, so that we can start to lift the stigma,” said Doug Benevento, head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 8 office in Denver.

The Berkeley pit in Butte, Montana, as seen from above.
NASA (CC-BY-2)

The mining companies in charge of the Berkeley Pit are going to start pumping, treating and discharging the water in the former open pit copper mine into Silver Bow Creek five years earlier than planned. Susan Dunlap is reporting that story for the Montana Standard in Butte. She spoke to MTPR's Nora Saks.

Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Doug Benevento, at right of screen, spoke in Butte in January, 2018
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

The regional head of the Environmental Protection Agency says Butte could move off the federal Superfund list by 2024, but details of that plan aren’t expected to be made public until this summer.

Administrator Doug Benevento announced steps toward a legal settlement for the cleanup of toxic mining waste in town before a crowd of more than 60 people in the Butte Friday.

Uptown Butte, MT.
Josh Burnham

In Butte Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that it has reached an historic agreement that could see a big part of the town removed from the Superfund list by 2024.

EPA Regional Administrator Doug Benevento announced the next step in cleaning up the toxic mess before a crowd of more than 60 people gathered in the Butte Public Archives. 

The Vortex Ring Avian Deterrent shoots a 200 mph blast of air to keep birds away from the toxic Berkeley Pit in Butte, MT.
Nora Saks

High above the Berkeley Pit, Butte’s famous copper mine turned toxic lake, a mini drone swoops and soars, then catches a thermal and floats. With its dark wings and yellow beak, it could easily be mistaken for a bird of prey. Just a few minutes after take off, it is.

“Oh, here comes somebody … bald eagle …"

David McCumber, editor of the Montana Standard in Butte, MT.
Mike Albans

The Environmental Protection Agency's newly appointed regional administrator says he wants to see the Butte Superfund cleanup move faster. He was in Montana last week, and says he’ll be back. MTPR's Nora Saks spoke with Montana Standard Editor David McCumber about the visit, and a rally planned for next week.

Olga Kreimer

On a sunny Saturday, while thousands were marching for science around the world, about 50 people gathered inside the Knights of Columbus Hall in Butte for a different kind of Earth Day celebration.

It was what 74-year-old Mary Kay Craig was calling a Butte-style wake.

“Well I’m Irish, so what am I supposed to say?” she asked.

Craig is with the Citizens for Labor and Environmental Justice and she organized the event, called Hope for Snow Geese.

Anaconda copper smelter.
Keith Ewing (CC-BY-NC-2) / Flickr

Homeowners in Anaconda recently got a letter from ARCO offering them $1,000 if they promised not to sue over lead cleanup on their property. It did not go over well. David McCumber, the editor of the Montana Standard has the details.

Anaconda copper smelter.
Keith Ewing (CC-BY-NC-2) / Flickr

Montana residents who signed contracts agreeing to accept $1,000 in exchange for not suing the Atlantic Richfield Co. (ARCO) over future mine waste cleanup in Opportunity will have the chance to reconsider.

A meeting was held last night in Anaconda to clarify the terms of the contracts for residents.

Berkeley Pit bird cannon, Butte, MT
Mark Thompson/Montana Resources

The people who manage the Berkeley Pit want to use lasers and cannons to try to save lives of migratory birds. Thousands of geese were killed last fall in the poisonous water of Butte’s Berkeley Pit. It was an environmental catastrophe that Mark Thompson hopes is never repeated.

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