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Superfund Sites in Reuse in Montana

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Anaconda Co. Smelter Athletic Fields Reuse Capped Site Reuse Cultural/Historical Reuse

Paved walking trail through open grassy fields on the Anaconda Co Smelter site.Anaconda Co. SmelterThe Anaconda Co. Smelter Superfund site is a former copper smelter in southwest Montana. The site includes the towns of Anaconda and Opportunity. From 1884 to 1980, the smelter was the cornerstone of the local economy. The smelter closed in 1980. It left behind more than 300 square miles of soil and water contaminated with heavy metals. In 1983, EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL). EPA worked with the community, ARCO (property owners of the former smelting facility), the State of Montana and Deer Lodge County to clean up the site and support its redevelopment. Developers turned 250 acres of the site into a 21-hole golf course. Designed by golf legend Jack Nicklaus, the course combines landscaping with historic mining artifacts. Cleanup also addressed homes and commercial areas next to the golf course. Cleanup activities to address arsenic contamination at residential properties began in 2003. ARCO has sampled more than 1,700 residential yards and cleaned up over 350 contaminated yards in Anaconda and the surrounding communities. Cleanup to address lead contamination in additional residential yards is ongoing. Commercial development is also underway on cleaned-up areas of the site. The remedy has also made 30 million cubic yards of slag material available for reuse. U.S. Mineral’s slag reuse operation provides material for use as abrasives, roofing material, Portland cement and pig iron.
Last updated July 2017

As of December 2018, EPA had data on 4 on-site businesses. These businesses employed 60 people and generated an estimated $905,000 in annual sales revenue. For additional information click here.

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Barker Hughesville Mining District

The 6,000-acre Barker Hughesville Mining District Superfund site is located in Judith Basin County and Cascade County in west-central Montana. In 1879, rich silver and lead ores were discovered in the area. Mining took place through the 1940s. Mining activities and abandoned mines contaminated soil, sediment, groundwater and surface water. EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 2001. To date, several short-term cleanup actions have been completed. The site’s long-term cleanup plan is under development. In 2015, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks and the U.S. Forest Service placed a fish barrier in Dry Fork Belt Creek as part of an effort to restore native westslope cutthroat trout in the watershed. Groundwater, surface water and sediment sampling are ongoing. Residential, recreational and commercial use of on-site properties is ongoing.
Last updated June 2017

As of December 2018, EPA did not have economic data related to on-site businesses, or economic data were not applicable due to site use. For additional information click here.

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Burlington Northern (Somers Plant)

The 80-acre Burlington Northern (Somers Plant) site is located in Somers, Flathead County, Montana. From 1901 to 1986, industrial operations included treatment of railroad ties and other lumber products to protect the materials from weathering and insects. These activities resulted in the contamination of beach sediments about 150 feet into Flathead Lake as well as soil and groundwater. Cleanup included soil and groundwater treatment and replacement of wetlands. BNSF Railway Company recently purchased residential properties located on the site. Efforts to mitigate erosion along the north shore of Flathead Lake near the site to ensure remedy protectiveness and to allow public access to the lake are ongoing.
Last updated June 2017

As of December 2018, EPA did not have economic data related to on-site businesses, or economic data were not applicable due to site use. For additional information click here.

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Burlington Northern Livingston Shop Complex Capped Site Reuse

The Burlington Northern Livingston Shop Complex (BNLSC) Superfund site is located primarily in Livingston, Montana. The facility is about 2 miles long and a half-mile wide. It includes an active rail yard with locomotive and rail car repair and maintenance shops. The Northern Pacific Railroad constructed the BNLSC facility in 1883. Historical uses included machine shops, a powerhouse, a passenger depot, a turntable, a roundhouse and a fuel depot for passenger and freight trains. Waste treatment, storage and disposal practices contaminated soils and groundwater. Facility operations ceased in 1986. Operations resumed a year later when Montana Rail Link (MRL) purchased a portion of the site. MRL currently repairs locomotives on site. The State of Montana is addressing the facility as a state Superfund site. Burlington Northern Railroad (now the BNSF Railway Company (BNSF)) began cleanup activities in 1988. Following cleanup, operation and maintenance activities are ongoing. BNSF recycles recovered oil for industrial fuel. In 2017, EPA removed BNLSC from its proposal to the National Priorities List (NPL).
Last updated June 2017

As of December 2018, EPA had data on one on-site business. These businesses employed 65 people and generated an estimated $12,679,000 in annual sales revenue. For additional information click here.

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Carpenter Snow Creek Mining District

The 9,000-acre Carpenter Snow Creek Mining District Superfund site includes about 96 abandoned mines in the Little Belt Mountains of Cascade County, Montana. From 1882 to 1929, operators of the Neihart Mining District mined zinc lead ore containing high concentrations of silver. Mining activities ceased after World War II. Mineral extraction and processing left behind mine waste and mining-influenced water on public and private lands. In the early 1990s, the Montana Abandoned Mine Reclamation Bureau found metal concentrations at levels detrimental to human health and the environment. EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 2001. EPA selected a cleanup plan for residential soils in the town of Neihart in 2009. Monitoring and site characterization across the watershed is ongoing; EPA is working on additional cleanup plans for the site. Cleanup efforts target surface soils and mining-influenced waters. Major cleanup efforts so far include contaminated soil removal in Neihart and mine tailings removal. Cleanup and monitoring activities are ongoing. The site remains in continued residential, recreational, public service and commercial use.
Last updated July 2017

As of December 2018, EPA had data on 5 on-site businesses. These businesses employed 21 people and generated an estimated $2,080,621 in annual sales revenue. For additional information click here.

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East Helena Site Alternative Energy Reuse Core Infrastructure Reuse Green Infrastructure Reuse

Current land uses include established residential areas, agricultural lands, and open spacesEast Helena SiteThe East Helena Superfund site is located in East Helena, Montana. The site includes a former lead smelter, the town of East Helena, several residential subdivisions and surrounding agricultural lands. Operated by Asarco, the smelter functioned from 1888 until 2001 and helped to define the community’s heritage. Smelter operations also led to the contamination of large portions of the former smelter facility, East Helena and the surrounding county. EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1984. Cleanup efforts began in the early 1990s, when Asarco removed contaminated soil from residential yards in East Helena. Asarco continued these activities through 2010. In 2010, as a result of the Asarco bankruptcy, EPA assumed the residential yard Superfund cleanup and oversees the court-appointed trustee cleanup of the facility. To date, cleanup at the facility has included demolition of facility structures, consolidation and covering of contaminated soil and sediment, treatment of contaminated water, and reconstruction of Prickly Pear Creek’s channel and floodplain. Cleanup activities are ongoing. To support future development, the City of East Helena annexed former Asarco-owned lands outside the city boundary in 2009. The community is now considering future land use, growth and development options. To support the community, EPA and the Montana Environmental Trust Group (trustee for the site after Asarco’s 2009 bankruptcy) have coordinated cleanup planning with local planning and development efforts. EPA’s Superfund Redevelopment Initiative also funded a community planning charrette and reuse planning process. The project resulted in a development strategy for East Helena. It focuses on opportunities for economic development and cultural heritage celebration as well as habitat and recreation. Current site uses include residential, agricultural, commercial and industrial uses. In 2016, 50 acres of land was transferred to the East Helena School District for development of an elementary school and/or middle school.
Last updated June 2017

As of December 2018, EPA had data on 66 on-site businesses. These businesses employed 371 people and generated an estimated $41,565,655 in annual sales revenue. For additional information click here.

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Flat Creek IMM

The Flat Creek IMM Superfund site is located in Superior, Montana. From 1909 to 1930 and again from 1947 to 1953, the Iron Mountain Mine (IMM) operated on site, producing silver, gold, lead, copper and zinc ores. Mine operations produced tailings contaminated with heavy metals. The local government and various individuals imported tailings into Superior to use as fill material in yards, roadways and other locations, including a school track and fairgrounds. In 2000, a forest fire triggered a large runoff event that carried contaminated tailings into and around the Flat Creek Watershed. These operations and events resulted in the contamination of residential areas and other properties as well as the Flat Creek Watershed. The site includes the abandoned IMM mine, Flat Creek and the town of Superior. EPA added the site to the Superfund program's National Priorities List (NPL) in 2009. Cleanup is ongoing. Today, the site remains in continued use – commercial and residential areas and other land uses are located on site.
Last updated April 2018

As of December 2018, EPA had data on 54 on-site businesses. These businesses employed 609 people and generated an estimated $44,206,010 in annual sales revenue. For additional information click here.

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Idaho Pole Co.

The 75-acre Idaho Pole Co. (IPC) Superfund site is located in Bozeman, Montana. Beginning in 1945, the IPC wood-treating facility began using creosote to preserve wood on site. In 1952, the company switched to pentachlorophenol in carrier oil for the wood-treating solution. IPC ceased treating wood on site in 1997. Facility operations resulted in the contamination of soil and groundwater. EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1986. Cleanup included soil and groundwater treatment. Groundwater monitoring is ongoing. IPC owns about 65 acres of the site. A small part of Interstate 90 crosses the site. Residential properties are located on the northern portion of the site. Properties owned by Idaho Pole that are not next to Interstate 90 are zoned for rural residential uses. About 41 acres of vacant property south of the interstate and some acreage north of the interstate are ready for industrial or commercial reuse. Another 20 acres north of the interstate are ready for residential reuse.
Last updated June 2017

As of December 2018, EPA did not have economic data related to on-site businesses, or economic data were not applicable due to site use. For additional information click here.

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Libby Asbestos Site Capped Site Reuse Cultural/Historical Reuse

Libby AsbestosLibby AsbestosThe Libby Asbestos Superfund site is located in the northwest corner of Montana. It includes the cities of Libby and Troy. Gold miners discovered vermiculite in Libby in 1881. Mining began in the 1920s and ended in 1990. The W.R. Grace Company most recently owned and operated the mine operations. Vermiculite was used in everything from construction materials, such as insulation and tiles, to soil amendments and school craft projects. By some estimates, while in operation, the Libby mine may have produced more than 80 percent of the world's supply of vermiculite. Asbestos co-mingled with the vermiculite-contaminated area. EPA sent an Emergency Response Team to Libby in 1999 to conduct an investigation and to begin removing asbestos in the community. In 2002, EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL). EPA has completed cleanup at the majority of properties in Libby and Troy. Since 1999, EPA has worked with local, state and federal agencies to complete investigations at 7,500 residential and commercial properties and clean up more than 2,400 of these properties. EPA has implemented many activities in support of economic development and reuse efforts in Libby and Troy. EPA sponsored meetings on economic revitalization in 2005 that targeted the real estate community and local contractors. EPA worked with the Lincoln County Port Authority in 2004 and 2017 to support land use planning and reuse efforts for 400 acres of industrial and commercial properties, including the former Stimson Mill property. EPA collaborated with the city, county and community members on the redevelopment of Riverfront Park. This multi-use facility includes river access, pavilions, a memorial, parking, picnic tables and fishing areas. The park also hosts Libby’s annual Riverfront Blues Festival. EPA also worked with the community to clean up a golf course and support development of a recreation trail and fishing pond. EPA hosted an initial visioning session in 2017 with property owners and key stakeholders to discuss a long-term vision for redevelopment for the Kootenai Business Park. The property can host more industrial and commercial businesses as well as more recreation opportunities. Future meetings will develop an implementation framework focused on the area’s redevelopment.
Last updated June 2017

As of December 2018, EPA had data on 10 on-site businesses. These businesses employed 75 people and generated an estimated $11,781,000 in annual sales revenue. For additional information click here.

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Libby Ground Water Contamination

The Libby Groundwater Superfund site is located on the eastern edge of Libby, Montana. The site’s groundwater contamination plume underlays parts of the City of Libby and county land, including land owned by the Lincoln County Port Authority (Kootenai Business Park). The site was part of a lumber and plywood mill, which treated wood on site between 1946 and 1969. In 1979, investigations discovered well water contamination at a nearby residence. EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1983. Cleanup began in 1986 and is ongoing. Cleanup activities have included connecting residents to the municipal water supply, well closures and payments to owners, institutional controls and soil and groundwater treatment. The site currently supports commercial and light industrial uses, a sawmill operation and recreational uses. The Superfund Redevelopment Initiative (SRI) is currently supporting reuse planning efforts at the site through a regional seed project.
Last updated June 2017

As of December 2018, EPA did not have economic data related to on-site businesses, or economic data were not applicable due to site use. For additional information click here.

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Lockwood Solvent Ground Water Plume

The 580-acre Lockwood Solvent Ground Water Plume Superfund site is located in Billings, Montana. In 1986, sampling found benzene and chlorinated solvents in water supply wells. Investigations identified a groundwater plume primarily sourced from Beall Trailers of Montana and Soco West (formerly Brenntag West). The Beall Trailers facility made and repaired tanker-truck trailers used to transport asphalt. From 1978 to 1990, operators cleaned trailers with industrial solvents and steam prior to maintenance or repair. Wastewater discharged to a septic system in drain field. Soco West operated a chemical repackaging and distribution company on site. Operations at both facilities resulted in the contamination of soil and groundwater. EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 2000. Cleanup includes groundwater monitoring and soil and groundwater treatment. The site remains in continued use; residential, commercial and industrial areas are located on site. A small part of Interstate 90 crosses the site.
Last updated June 2017

As of December 2018, EPA had data on one on-site business. This business employed 5 people and generated an estimated $1,400,000 in annual sales revenue. For additional information click here.

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Milltown Reservoir/Clark Fork River Core Infrastructure Reuse Cultural/Historical Reuse

A view of the site from the newly constructed bluff overlookMilltown Reservoir/Clark Fork RiverFrom the 1860s until the late 20th century, the Clark Fork and Blackfoot Rivers region in western Montana was one of the richest mining regions in the world. Mining operations left behind large areas of mining waste and contamination. Water quality standards were substantially exceeded, and unacceptable human health and environmental risks occurred throughout the Silver Bow Creek and Clark Fork River valleys. In 1983, EPA placed the area known as the Milltown Reservoir on the National Priorities List (NPL). EPA later amended the site to include the upstream upper Clark Fork River. Together, these areas make up the Milltown Reservoir/Clark Fork River Superfund site. Cleanup at the Milltown Reservoir area included sediment removal to restore drinking water, removal of the historic Milltown Dam in 2010 and revegetation of a restored floodplain. Cleanup of the Clark Fork River area, which consists of removal of contamination and revegetation of the floodplain channel, is underway. Throughout the project, EPA worked with local communities, the State, and federal and tribal partners on a collaboration to link the cleanup with restoration and redevelopment efforts. Assisted by an EPA Superfund Redevelopment pilot grant and EPA support, area communities developed a reuse plan for the Milltown Reservoir area in 2005. It called for the creation of a state park with trails, river access, wildlife habitat and interpretive areas celebrating the region’s history and heritage. In 2010, the State of Montana acquired portions of the site for the new Milltown State Park. The State allocated funding for the park’s development and land acquisitions. The State plans to link the new park with the area’s community trail network and newly renovated pedestrian bridge. The overlook at Milltown State Park is now open, with main park areas anticipated to open in 2017. The renovated “Black Bridge” over the Blackfoot River is now home to the Milltown Bridge Market, a local farmer’s market. In 2005, the Clark Fork Coalition also began managing a sustainable cattle ranch on the Clark Fork River portion of the site. In 2011 and 2012, EPA and the State of Montana restored the ranch area floodplain to a naturally functioning, self-sustaining river ecosystem. Site stakeholders will continue to monitor the Milltown drinking water supply, the area fishery and Clark Fork River floodplain vegetation.
Last updated June 2017

As of December 2018, EPA did not have economic data related to on-site businesses, or economic data were not applicable due to site use. For additional information click here.

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Mouat Industries Capped Site Reuse

A new public works building is located on the SiteMouat IndustriesThe 4.5-acre Mouat Industries Superfund site is located in Columbus, Montana. The site lies within the historic floodplain of the Yellowstone River. From 1957 to 1962, Mouat Industries’ chromite ore operation was active on site. It generated wastes that contaminated soil and groundwater. After assessing the area, EPA added the site to the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1986. Working with EPA, several potentially responsible parties (PRPs), including the Town of Columbus, treated contaminated soil and groundwater, and implemented groundwater and land use controls. Cleanup construction finished in 1996. In August 2011, the Town of Columbus built a new public works building on part of the site. Timberweld, a wood manufacturing company, used another part of the site for operational facilities and covered an area with gravel for use as a parking lot. In 2015, Timberweld ceased operations. All assets including property were auctioned in March 2017.  EPA is working with the new property owners to facilitate appropriate redevelopment considering the remedy in place.
Last updated June 2017

As of December 2018, EPA had data on one on-site business.  EPA did not have further economic details related to this business. For additional information click here.

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Silver Bow Creek/Butte Area Alternative Energy Reuse Athletic Fields Reuse Capped Site Reuse Cultural/Historical Reuse

Copper Mountain Sports Complex, which serves as recreational reuse at the Superfund siteSilver Bow Creek/Butte AreaThe Silver Bow Creek Superfund site starts in Butte, Montana and runs west about 26 miles near Anaconda. The history of the site dates to the late 1800s, when miners dumped wastes into streams and wetlands near mining operations. This dumping severely polluted Silver Bow Creek and surrounding areas. As a result, EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1983. Working together, EPA, Montana Department of Environmental Quality, the site’s potentially responsible parties (PRPs) and the community returned the site property to productive use and are continuing to do so. Redevelopment takes place in a manner compatible with the remedy(s) to make sure the cleanup is effective and redevelopment is consistent with local goals. The PRPs remove and/or manage contamination, then areas are capped and revegetated for such amenities as parks and new recreational fields. Cleanup includes restoring wetlands that now serve as a key habitat for osprey and migrating Canadian geese. The Butte Natural Resource Damage (NRD) Restoration Council approved funds for the purchase and planting of trees in the new community park area on the site. Park trails now run through the site. The trails link a system of historic preservation sites in Butte and Walkerville called Montana’s Copperway. Park features include a sports complex with youth baseball fields, a driving range and golf course, walking trails with interpretive signs and stations, public restrooms and picnic areas. Restoration efforts are both historic, such as the Granite Mountain Memorial area that is dedicated to the 168 men who lost their lives in the most deadly metal mining disaster in U.S. history and memorializes thousands more who died in the Butte area mines, and creative, such as the Butte Hill Trail walking path that uses an abandoned railroad bed.
Last updated June 2017

As of December 2018, EPA had data on 327 on-site businesses. These businesses employed 4,565 people and generated an estimated $780,565,926 in annual sales revenue. For additional information click here.

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Upper Tenmile Creek Mining Area Capped Site Reuse

The Upper Tenmile Creek Mining Area Superfund site covers about 53 square miles in Lewis and Clark County, Montana. The site consists of about 150 mines in the historic Rimini Mining District. Metals mining began in the 1870s and continued through the 1930s. Mine waste rock containing heavy metals contaminated soil, groundwater and surface water. The City of Helena obtains about 85 percent of its drinking water supply from the Tenmile Creek watershed. In October 1999, EPA added the site to the Superfund program’s National Priorities List (NPL). EPA assisted state agencies in relocating mine waste from several abandoned mines to the Luttrell Repository, a central location designed to properly handle mine waste, from 1996 to 2001. EPA selected the cleanup plan for residential properties in the Rimini and Landmark subdivisions in 2002 and revised it in 2008 to require individual septic systems and prevent future drinking water systems from using groundwater. Cleanup activities are ongoing. At the Rimini Road (Basin Creek Mine Road) area of the site, EPA completed cleanup in 2010. Cleanup is ongoing at the Priority Mine Waste area of the site, which includes the Minnehaha Area Mine Group, the Monitor Creek Area Tailings and Mines Group, the Ruby/Banner Creek Mine Group and the Red Mountain Mine Group. Relocation of additional waste to the Luttrell Repository and reclamation of excavated areas will also take place. EPA is working with the County and State to establish rules for groundwater use and put institutional controls in place to make sure the site’s future use is compatible with the remedy. EPA is also working on remedial designs for other areas of the site. The community of Rimini, a small residential subdivision at the mouth of the Tenmile Creek watershed, is located on site, and includes residential homes and cabins. Large, undeveloped areas of the site are also used for recreation activities.
Last updated June 2017

As of December 2018, EPA did not have economic data related to on-site businesses, or economic data were not applicable due to site use. For additional information click here.

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