News Releases from Region 08
EPA and parties reach conceptual settlement framework for final cleanup actions at Anaconda Smelter Superfund site in Montana
DENVER -- On July 28, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the State of Montana, Anaconda Deer Lodge County (ADLC), and the Atlantic Richfield Company reached a conceptual settlement framework that addresses final cleanup actions at the Anaconda Smelter Superfund site and provides the potential for significant benefits to the local community. The process by which the settlement framework was negotiated is substantially similar to that followed by Atlantic Richfield, EPA, the State, and Butte Silver Bow County on the Butte Superfund site.
“This is another win for the people of Montana," said Montana Governor Steve Bullock. "I’m pleased we are finally taking action to get the cleanup done in Anaconda.”
“This agreement secures a clear path forward for achieving final cleanup actions and a post-Superfund future for the people of Anaconda,” said EPA Regional Administrator Doug Benevento. “We will now work diligently with our partners to begin finalizing and sharing details about the agreement and complete all necessary Superfund actions in the community.”
“Working under EPA oversight for many years, we have made tremendous progress in cleaning up historic mining and smelting waste in the Anaconda area. We believe this agreement provides a clear path forward for finishing the job, with additional benefits to the community,” said Atlantic Richfield Company Vice President Patricia Gallery. “We look forward to continuing to work with the EPA, State of Montana and the leadership of Anaconda-Deer Lodge County to make this happen.”
“My gratitude and respect go out to all principals involved in the negotiations. The time and resources spent to achieve a conceptual settlement framework was immense,” said ADLC Commission Chairman Terry Vermeire. “I know all the members of our team believe we reached an agreement that is in the best interest of Anaconda-Deer Lodge County.”
EPA and Anaconda Deer Lodge County will host a public meeting on Tuesday, July 31, at 6:30 p.m. in the Anaconda High School Little Theater to present next steps in developing a consent decree and sharing information with the public.
Details of the conceptual settlement framework are currently subject to a court confidentiality order issued in a lawsuit between the U.S. and the Atlantic Richfield Company. The parties will work quickly to seek court approval to modify the order to allow information about the proposed final remedy and other benefits to the community to be shared with the public.
Under the framework, the parties will begin negotiating and drafting a consent decree and other documents representing a binding cleanup agreement. If the parties succeed in that effort, the public will have an opportunity to review and comment on such a decree before it becomes final and on any modifications to EPA’s remedial action decision documents.
For more information on the Anaconda Area Superfund site visit: https://cumulis.epa.gov/supercpad/CurSites/csitinfo.cfm?id=0800403&msspp=meda