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Palmerton Zinc

November 1994 Fact Sheet

Discussion of Proposed Lead Abatement Program at Superfund Site in Butte, Montana


In July 1994, the Palmerton Environmental Task Force (PETF) sponsored a Scientific Symposium concerning the Palmerton Zinc Site. At the symposium, members of the PETF recommended that the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency Region III (EPA Region III) examine the plan developed for the Silver Bow Creek/Butte Area Site (Butte Site) in Montana as an example of what could be done for Palmerton.

EPA Region III followed up with its counterparts in Montana to find out more about the Butte site. There are many similarities between the Butte Site and the Palmerton Zinc Site. Both the Butte Site and the Palmerton Zinc Site are affected by former smelting operations and contain lead as a primary contaminant. Both sites also are affected by contamination as a result of current activities. Operations continue in Butte and metals recycling is ongoing in Palmerton. Finally, in response to the lead contamination threat, both communities have sought to address possible sources of lead contamination not related to site activities (e.g., lead in paint).

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region VIII (EPA Region VIII) and the Montana Department of Health and Environmental Sciences (MDHES) designed a Response Action that combines activities being conducted under the Butte-Silver Bow Lead Intervention/Abatement Program with actions addressing site-related contamination. The resulting Response Action addresses all sources of lead contamination in the Butte area, not just those caused by site activities.


Under the Proposed Plan at the Butte site, the Butte-Silver Bow government (acting as the lead agency) and the potentially responsible parties (PRPs) will be responsible for:

The PRPs also will clean up source areas with high soil lead levels by removing contaminated soils, capping, and revegetating.

EPA Region III was favorably impressed with the Butte Site Response Action and its goal of reducing the exposure of Butte area residents to all sources of lead (in soil, interior and exterior lead-based paint, interior dust, and lead-containing water pipes). EPA Region III would be interested in discussing the approach used at Butte/Silver Bow if the Palmerton community and the PRPs could agree.


Larry Brown (3EA30)
Community Involvement Facilitator
EPA Region III
1650 Arch St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029


The following location contains all available information on the Palmerton Zinc Site, including the Administrative Record File, the Community Relations Plan, any recent fact sheets, and relevant reports, such as the NEIC Source Identification Study Report.

Palmerton Library
4th Street and Delaware Avenue
Palmerton, PA 18071
Gerald Geiger, Director


Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. - 4:55 p.m.
Monday through Wednesday, 7:00 p.m. - 8:55 p.m.
Saturday, 10:00 a.m. - 11:55 a.m.

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