EPA will review Butte health data to identify potential gaps; commits to increased transparency and community engagement
EPA to host public meeting in the coming weeks
Butte, Mont. (March 14, 2023) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is announcing multiple actions to increase transparency related to the agency’s continuing Superfund cleanup efforts in Butte, Montana. The Agency is also announcing that it will review the existing health data in Butte and identify any potential gaps. We also commit to providing meaningful public engagement on any identified gaps and next steps.
“I recently made my third trip to Butte to hear from community members and officials,” said EPA Regional Administrator KC Becker. “During the visit, my staff and I heard from community members about the desire for more transparency and are taking action to ensure the community can meaningfully engage in decisions related to the Superfund cleanup.”
EPA is committed to improving public engagement opportunities regarding ongoing and future activities at the Site. The agency will work with our partners to improve public meetings, and ensure materials are easily accessible on EPA’s website.
EPA Actions to Increase Public Engagement and Provide Additional Health Information:
· EPA is committed to hosting more frequent public meetings to include both in-person and hybrid, virtual options for public attendance. These meetings will be recorded and posted to EPA’s website and will be an additional opportunity for the public to ask questions and provide feedback.
· EPA is actively working to hire at least one additional community involvement coordinator to work in the agency’s Montana office who will be available to support the community in Butte.
· We will continue to evaluate the existing health data to identify any potential gaps to help inform the next steps on a community health assessment. Once we identify any potential gaps, we will engage the public on our analysis to help inform next steps on a community health assessment in coordination with our federal, state, and local partners.
· EPA will be hosting a public meeting in April to provide updates on Site progress and our actions to improve community engagement. A specific date and location will be announced soon.
Progress in Butte
EPA continues to be encouraged by data that shows declining blood lead levels in the Butte community. The Superfund program works to address human health risks from historic mining contamination in Butte by capping mine waste and directly focusing on people’s homes for cleanup. Butte’s nationally recognized Residential Metals Abatement Program has resulted in all schools and non-residential day cares being sampled, along with dozens of parks. In addition, hundreds of cleanups have been completed to reduce lead in attics, soil and indoor paint.
More details on the Butte-Silver Bow Creek Superfund site.
Access the Phase I Health Study 2014
Access the Phase II Health Study 2022