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Butte's Superfund Deal Sent To Federal Judge For Final Approval

Locations of surface water remedy components for the Butte Priority Soils Operable Unit.
Locations of surface water remedy components for the Butte Priority Soils Operable Unit.

Butte’s pending $150 million Superfund cleanup dealis now one step away from being legally set in stone.

The U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday filed a motion to enter the Superfund deal, or consent decree, with the Federal District Court of Montana, recommending the court approve it.

Local commissioner Cindi Shaw says all of Butte-Silver Bow is anxiously awaiting the federal judge’s final decision on this agreement.

"We are coming to a historic crossroads after a 30 year journey, one I believe we are all ready to bring to a conclusion. My hope is that the decision will move Butte forward on a new path where we can put the first ‘shovels in the ground’.

The overarching cleanup settlement between the federal Environmental Protection Agency, Butte-Silver Bow County, the state, and Atlantic Richfield was lodged with a federal district courtin June. Since then, federal and state agencies have been busy reviewing and responding to all of the public comments submitted over the summer.

There is no set time frame for when the federal district judge will consider the motion and approve or reject the Superfund deal.

All comments, the Motion to Enter, the Consent Decree and other supporting documents can be found at

For more on Butte’s Superfund journey, listen to Richest Hill here or wherever you get your podcasts.
Copyright 2020 Montana Public Radio. To see more, visit Montana Public Radio.

Nora Saks is a freelance radio and print journalist investigating themes of environmental justice in the Crown of the Continent and beyond.