12.04.17

Daines Urges EPA to Prioritize Montana in Superfund Sites Selection

Daines Urges EPA to Prioritize Montana in Superfund Sites Selection 

U.S. SENATE —U.S. Senator Steve Daines today sent a letter to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt urging him to ensure Montana is represented in the Administrator’s Top Ten list of Superfund sites which will receive the Administrator’s utmost attention.

“With 17 National Priorities List (NPL) sites and one proposed NPL site in Montana, including some of the most expansive in the nation, there is a clear need for at least one Montana site to be among those to which you will pay utmost attention,” wrote Daines. 

In July, U.S. Senator Steve Daines secured his recommendations for improving the Superfund program in the EPA Superfund Task Force report released by Administrator Pruitt. The report also recommended that the agency establish a Top Ten list of Superfund sites which will receive special attention from the Administrator.

Below is the full text of the letter:

 

December 4, 2017

 

The Honorable Scott Pruitt

Administrator

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

1200 Pennsylvania Ave Northwest

Washington, D.C. 20460

Dear Administrator Pruitt:

As you compile your Top Ten list of Superfund sites to prioritize, I urge you to ensure Montana is well represented. With 17 National Priorities List (NPL) sites and one proposed NPL site in Montana, including some of the most expansive in the nation, there is a clear need for at least one Montana site to be among those to which you will pay utmost attention.

Among Montana’s most severe Superfund sites is the Butte/Silverbow Creek Area. With a Record of Decision for the Butte Priority Soils Operable Unit (OU) dating back to 2006, and the OU still without a consent decree for cleanup, this site serves as a strong example of one in Montana that would benefit from inclusion on your list. The Anaconda Co. Smelter site, meanwhile, has ample work to be done with respect to sampling residences and schools for lead and other chemicals and the subsequent cleanup thereof. I have also heard from the Anaconda-Deer Lodge County CEO Bill Everett repeatedly about the need for more diligence on this site. In another example, asbestos cleanup has been ongoing for 17 years and is still underway at the Libby Asbestos site, which is another where contaminants remain present in the community. While these few sites have garnered some of the most notoriety, the remainder of Montana’s NPL sites span as far as Yellowstone County and all of them continue to hurt Montana communities every day. 

I also believe recent visits to Montana Superfund sites by the new Region 8 Administrator Doug Benevento, as well as his meetings with local officials and stakeholders, have been productive and positive. I applaud his involvement on the ground. 

I recognize that with the number of Montana sites alone nearly double the length of your forthcoming list, not every Montana site will be included. Regardless, I urge your continued commitment to finding more expeditious—while simultaneously environmentally and healthily protective—remediation solutions to all Superfund sites in Montana, along with the listing of at least one among your Top Ten. 

Thank you for your continued attention to the crucial matter of Superfund in Montana.

Sincerely,