Environmental Protection Agency

Today is the day when a milestone in Butte’s Superfund cleanup was supposed to have been reached: a final Superfund deal for the Butte Hill. Now the parties negotiating that agreement say they need a little more time. 

On his last day on the job, former EPA Regional boss Doug Benevento told the parties hashing out the deal that they had until August 12 to get it done.

37 years ago, Atlantic Richfield abandoned an open pit copper mine in Butte and allowed it to flood with toxic mine water. Now, the company estimates they’re one month away from proving they’re in control of the Berkeley Pit. MTPR's Nora Saks got a sneak peek of their new water treatment facility and has more.

Affected area in Billings
Courtesy of DEQ & EPA


State and federal officials say an 855-acre area in central and downtown Billings should be considered for Superfund status due to indoor air quality contamination.

Wednesday night, Anacondans got a rare chance to speak directly about their experience with Superfund to the national office that investigates the Environmental Protection Agency. And most of what they had to say wasn’t complimentary.

Anaconda residents have attended countless Superfund meetings over the last 36 years. But unlike the others, this one wasn’t hosted by EPA.

The national office that investigates the EPA wants to hear what people in Anaconda think about the Superfund cleanup there.

The independent Office of the Inspector General (OIG) looks for fraud, waste and abuse in the Environmental Protection Agency. It also evaluates EPA’s programs, like Superfund, and makes recommendations on how they could be improved.

A coyote hunts for small mammals in the tall grass, October 2008.
Vince O'Sullivan/FLICKR (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

About a dozen states – including Montana and Wyoming – are allowed to use a controversial device called the M-44. Advocates say it’s an important tool to protect sheep from coyotes. Critics call it a ‘cyanide bomb’ and say it’s too risky for humans and pets. Now, several environmental groups are pushing to ban them at the state and federal level.

A study in the journal Science says a lot more methane is leaking from oil & gas sites than previously thought -- about 60 percent more than the current estimate from the Environmental Protection Agency.

What we know about air pollution and health has roots in the mountain valleys of Utah. Winter smog episodes here are legendary.

The Environmental Protection Agency just announced its plan to roll back vehicle emissions standards. That could be cause for concern in Mountain West communities with poor air quality.

There's a film festival in Butte this week, and there's a rumor that the head of the EPA may visit the mining city too. Montana Standard Editor David McCumber joins us now with  more information.

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