U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines brought Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler to tour the Silver Bow Creek/Butte Area and the Anaconda Smelter Co. Superfund sites in Montana yesterday. Daines was also joined by local, state, and community leaders including Montana Attorney General Tim Fox, Butte-Silver Bow County Chief Executive Dave Palmer, and Anaconda-Deer Lodge County Chief Executive Bill Everett.
“These communities have been ignored for far too long, ” Daines said. “One of my first requests to this administration was to have an EPA Administrator come out to Montana, to come to Butte and Anaconda, and see the impacts the communities face firsthand. So I’m very grateful that EPA Administrator Wheeler came out to visit these sites yesterday. We’re seeing less talk and more action now, and that’s a good thing. We want to build on this momentum and keep the pressure on to see these sites cleaned up once and for all. I will continue to push at every opportunity to finish these cleanups.”
During the visit, Wheeler reiterated commitment from the EPA to have both of the Silver Bow Creek/Butte Area and Anaconda Smelter Co. Superfund sites prepared for delisting off of the National Priorities List by 2025.
“I want to thank Senator Daines for inviting me out to visit Montana and tour the Butte and Anaconda Superfund sites,” Wheeler said. “The visit provided an opportunity to hear from state and local officials as well as community activists on where the EPA can continue to provide support. It won’t take another 28 years from an EPA Administrator to visit Big Sky Country under President Trump.”
“I want to thank Senator Daines for making today’s historic visit by Acting EPA Administrator Wheeler to Butte and Anaconda possible,” Fox said. “It is clear from Administrator Wheeler’s remarks today, and from the extraordinary efforts of his EPA Region 8 Administrator Doug Benevento, that President Trump intends to secure a lasting and substantive restoration plan, supported by local citizens, that will protect human health and the environment in perpetuity.”
Siler Bow Creek/Butte Area Superfund site tour
“I‘m happy that Senator Daines and Acting Administrator Wheeler are coming to Butte to see firsthand what is happening. It will be a very positive day for our community as we move forward,” Palmer said.
Anaconda-Deer Lodge County Community Stakeholder Meeting
“I’m extremely appreciative of the much needed attention that Anaconda has received from Senator Daines and now from the acting administrator Wheeler coming. We are certainly headed in the right direction. I’m optimistic with the results and I believe in the outcomes that will be achieved,” Everett said.
On June 27, 2017, Daines sent a letter to former EPA Administrator Pruitt that reemphasized the invitation to visit one of Montana’s Superfund sites and included recommendations for improvements to the Superfund program.
On February 17, 2017, after former EPA Administrator Pruitt’s confirmation, Daines sent him a letter, underscoring the EPA’s responsibility in the environmental cleanup for National Priorities List Superfund sites and invited Pruitt to tour a Montana Superfund site and assess the challenges and needs associated with cleanup.