NPL Site Narrative for Smurfit-Stone Mill
The Smurfit-Stone Mill site is an inactive integrated pulp and paper mill located in west-central Montana, approximately 12 miles northwest of the city of Missoula, in Missoula County.
The mill property covers approximately 3,150 acres, 900 acres of which consists of a series of unlined impoundments. Approximately 150 industrial acres of the property have not been characterized and 1,800 acres is currently used for agricultural purposes. The site began operation as a pulp mill in the fall of 1957 and then later produced paper and cardboard box components. The mill filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December 2009 and ceased operations in January 2010.
Samples from sludge ponds, an emergency spill pond and a wastewater storage pond contain dioxins and furans, and several metals, including arsenic, cadmium, lead, manganese and zinc.
Potential Impacts on Surrounding Community/Environment:
Contaminants have been released into ground water beneath the site, as well as O'Keefe Creek and the Clark Fork River (both located directly adjacent to the site). The Clark Fork River is a fishery that supports a variety of finfish, including the federally-designated threatened bull trout, and other species that are harvested for human consumption. Both O'Keefe Creek and the Clark Fork River contain significant areas of wetlands. The segment of the Clark Fork River directly adjacent to the site is listed as a Wildlife Protected Area for bald eagle nesting territory, a high-density bald eagle winter concentration area, a big game critical wintering/spring area and a historical peregrine falcon nesting area. The site also lies within the Clark Fork River - Grass Valley Important Bird Area, designated due to its significance to bird species of conservation concern.
Response Activities (to date):
There have been no response activities to date.
Need for NPL Listing:
The release of hazardous substances, the overall size of the site, and areas/wetlands supporting sensitive populations of fish and bird species will require significant time and resources to clean up. Therefore listing this site on the NPL would be the most effective approach for cleaning up contamination. Other federal and state cleanup programs were evaluated, but are not viable at this time. The EPA received a letter of support from the state of Montana for placing this site on the NPL.
[The description of the site (release) is based on information available at the time the site was evaluated with the HRS. The description may change as additional information is gathered on the sources and extent of contamination. See 56 FR 5600, February 11, 1991, or subsequent FR notices.]
For more information about the hazardous substances identified in this narrative summary, including general information regarding the effects of exposure to these substances on human health, please see the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) ToxFAQs. ATSDR ToxFAQs can be found on the Internet at ATSDR - ToxFAQs (http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/index.asp) or by telephone at 1-888-42-ATSDR or 1-888-422-8737.