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Public Meetings About Anaconda Cleanup Set For Early March

The Washoe Smelter Stack in Anaconda.

Public meetings over a newly released agreement guiding the remainder of the Anaconda Superfund cleanup will be held over the first two weeks of March.

If approved by the county commission, the $30 million deal between the Atlantic Richfield Company and Anaconda-Deer Lodge County will expand efforts to remove hazardous metals in attics and yards. It will also provide free blood-lead monitoring for anyone who wants it and fund economic development in Anaconda, among other efforts.

Copper mined in nearby Butte was smelted in Anaconda, spewing toxic chemicals such as arsenic and lead over a tract of land about the same size as New York City. The smelter closed in 1981, and the area was put on the Superfund National Priorities List two years later.

The five upcoming meetings offer the public a chance to weigh in on the proposed agreement before the county commission's vote.

[Related: Richest Hill - Explore the past, present and future of one of America's most notorious Superfund sites]

Copyright 2020 Montana Public Radio. To see more, visit Montana Public Radio.

Nick Mott is an reporter who also works on the Threshold podcast.