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Plan to clean up Butte Superfund released to public

Posted at 9:53 AM, Feb 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-14 11:55:33-05

BUTTE — Butte has waited 30 years to see the plan to clean up more than a century of mine waste.

“Here it is. This is the document in all of its splendor,” said Butte Superfund Coordinator Jon Sesso.

The massive consent decree was revealed during a conference at the Finlen Hotel which will outline the cleanup and remediation work and eventual end of Butte’s status as a Superfund site.

Butte Chief Executive Dave Palmer called it the beginning of the post-Superfund era.

“It’s been a very long road for our community, but we’re finally at the point where we see light at the end of the tunnel,” said Palmer.

The plan was worked on in closed negotiations between the representatives of the EPA, Butte, the state and the Atlantic-Richfield Co. Atlantic-Richfield pledges more than $100 million to the cleanup plan in Butte.

“The Proposed Butte consent decree would provide a final, permanent, protective and sustainable remedy,” said Atlantic-Richfield Vice President Patricia Gallery.

A $1 million trust fund has also been set up to restore the first mile of Silver Bow Creek.