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EPA proposes cleanup plan for Butte Soil and Water

Release Date: 12/20/2004
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      Helena -- Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a Proposed Plan for a comprehensive cleanup of soil, surface water and groundwater in Butte. The plan is EPA's proposed final remedy for the Butte Priority Soils Operable Unit site, bringing many years of study of mining-related contamination in the area to a conclusion. There will be a 60-day public comment period (Dec. 20, 2004 - Feb. 18, 2005) on the plan.
The plan was developed in consultation with the Montana Department of Environmental Quality and reflects input from Butte Silver Bow County and Butte citizens. “I’m eager to hear what Butte residents think of this proposal,” said John Wardell, Director of EPA’s office in Helena. “I believe the plan represents a responsible and sensible approach to cleaning up contamination and protecting public health.”

The proposal calls for removal of contaminated sediment in Silver Bow Creek; storm water management; groundwater collection and treatment; covers, partial removal and limited treatment for soil and mine waste and continuation of a lead abatement program.

“There are many components to this cleanup plan and it has been complicated to develop. EPA is pleased to finally put forth this proposal that has been a long time in the making. Close coordination with stakeholders will continue to be extremely important as we move forward,” said Bob Fox, EPA’s Superfund Program Manager.

Many other cleanup actions in Butte have already been completed or are currently underway. These actions include many residential soil removals, removal or capping of waste piles around the city, the Berkeley Pit water collection and treatment system, removal of the Colorado Tailings, much of the old Butte Reduction Works, and storm water controls. Land use and redevelopment have been considered and encouraged in the course of all cleanups. EPA, working with stakeholders, has helped find creative, productive and economically beneficial solutions at several cleanup sites within Butte.

The proposed plan was mailed to stakeholders today and is available at two information repositories in Butte - the EPA office and the Montana Tech library. A four-page summary of the plan was also released for those wishing to read a shorter version of EPA’s proposal. It will be included as an insert in the Montana Standard on December 23rd and the Butte Weekly on December 29th.

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Other Useful Information

Public Meeting for formal Public Comment

January 25, 2004
6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Carpenter’s Union Hall
156 W. Granite
Butte, Montana

Submit Written Comments
from December 20, 2004 through
February 18, 2005 to:

U.S.EPA Region 8
Montana Office
10 W. 15th St. Suite 3200
Helena, MT 59626
Attn: Ron Bertram

Information Repositories

EPA Record Center
Federal Building
10 W. 15th St.; Suite 3200
Helena, MT 59626
Ph: 406-457-5046

EPA Butte Office
155 W. Granite
Butte, MT 59701
Ph:406-782-3838

Montana Tech Library
1300 W. Park
Butte, MT 59701
Ph: 406-496-4281