January 26, 2018
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other parties reached a conceptual agreement to address future cleanup work at the Silver Bow Creek Butte Area Superfund site in Butte, Montana.
“Cleaning up America’s most contaminated sites has been a priority since the get-go of this Administration and the Silver Bow Creek Butte Area is no exception,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “Today, EPA is taking the necessary steps to ensure a full, protective cleanup for these Montana communities to achieve better environmental and health outcomes.”
Just one month after Administrator Pruitt released his targeted Superfund list of 21 sites for immediate and intense attention – which included the Silver Bow Creek Butte Area – the Agency and responsible parties have laid out a strategy to boost cleanup efforts.
“Butte has deserved certainty and action for decades and I could not be more pleased that today, together with the EPA, we are delivering on both,” said Montana Governor Steve Bullock. “The citizens and community of Butte can finally rest assured we are on a path to get the job done once and for all.”
“Today’s agreement is a long-awaited milestone that will bring the Butte community closer to a post-Superfund future,” said EPA Regional Administrator Doug Benevento. “We look forward to working with our state and local partners, and the citizens of Butte and Silver Bow County, to identify and complete specific cleanup actions at the Silver Bow Creek Butte Area Superfund site.”
“On behalf of Butte-Silver Bow, I would like to thank all of the parties in the long consent decree talks who finally ended up with an agreement in principle late last night,” said City and County of Butte-Silver Bow Chief Executive Dave Palmer. “Butte’s team fought hard for a comprehensive cleanup after listening to the concerns of citizens for many years. Our goal was to get a good cleanup, protect our taxpayers, and realize a good reuse of a cleaned up corridor. I believe we have achieved that goal. There is still a lot of hard work to be done but we are headed in the right direction.”
In addition to EPA, the other parties to the agreement include the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the State of Montana, Butte Silver Bow, and the Atlantic Richfield Company. EPA will begin working with these parties immediately to develop a proposed plan to amend the existing Record of Decision, which will be made available for a 60-day public comment period. EPA will also hold community availability sessions to collect feedback and will consider all public comments before making a final decision.
After all comments are considered, DOJ will negotiate with all parties and draft a Consent Decree, which will be followed by another public comment period.
For more information on the Butte Silver Bow Area Superfund site visit: https://cumulis.epa.gov/