Montana Public Radio

Environmental Protection Agency

McGill Hall at the University of Montana.
Edward O'Brien / Montana Public Radio

A campuswide meeting to discuss the decision to abruptly close a busy University of Montana building for the rest of spring semester was peppered with flashes of anger, anxiety and even moments of empathy Friday.

Food waste.
iStock/ Animaflora

The state of Montana has won an award for not wasting food. The Department of Environmental Quality and its nonprofit partners kept 829 tons of food from going into landfills in 2017. And for that, the U.S. EPA gave DEQ a 2018 Food Recovery Challenge Regional Award.

Smurfit-Stone Container mill outside Frenchtown, Montana.
Djembayz (CC-BY-SA-3)

The ongoing partial government shutdown has scuttled an upcoming meeting between Missoula County and the Environmental Protection Agency.

That meeting was meant to discuss ongoing concerns about the closed and contaminated Smurfit-Stone Container pulp and paper mill site in Frenchtown.

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.

Downtown Libby, MT.
libbymt.com

The federal Environmental Protection Agency is preparing to hand off long-term management of the Libby Superfund site to the state in 2020. A state advisory team is getting ready to budget for unforeseen cleanup and monitor the site.

State Rep. Steve Gunderson says the Libby Asbestos Superfund Advisory Team’s goal is to ensure the EPA’s remediation plan lasts into the future, and that homeowners won’t have to pay for any future cleanup.

Federal Officials Find Contamination In Crow Water System

Dec 13, 2018
Crow Tribe.
Josh Burnham / MTPR

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Federal investigators say tests results on a public water system serving 1,300 residents on Montana's Crow Indian Reservation have indicated fecal material contamination that exceeds safety standards.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Inspector General said in a memo released Thursday that the contamination was found in tests conducted in April and May on the Crow Agency Water System.

Giant piles of slag sit on along Highway 1 on the way into Anaconda, MT, July 11, 2018. Slag is a byproduct of copper smelting.
Nora Saks

A federal judge has lifted a gag order on the Anaconda Superfund cleanup. That means that after more than a decade of secrecy, Anaconda residents will soon be able to learn some details about the Superfund cleanup deal in the works for the Smelter City.

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

Anaconda residents are one step closer to finding out more details about the final Superfund cleanup deal and plan that’s been under wraps for the last four months.

When the M-44 trap is set, only the capsule holder and capsule protrude above ground level.
Guy Connely - U.S. Department of Agriculture

The Environmental Protection Agency has denied a petition from an environmental organization to ban M-44 devices, known as cyanide bombs, on public lands.

The EPA responded that it will not take immediate action to ban M-44s as requested, but will continue with its normal registration review process. This means the devices could be banned in the future.

Silver Bow Creek in Butte, Montana.
Nora Saks / MTPR

The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to waive state water quality standards for a portion of Butte’s Superfund cleanup.

If the final Superfund cleanup deal currently being negotiated in Butte goes through, extensive work is planned to clean up and protect the major creek corridors in town.

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