Friday, December 16, 2011

Cleanup Plans Adjusted at Montana Superfund Site

By: Duane Craig

In September soils testing begins in Black Eagle, Montana, at the new Superfund site called ACM Smelter and Refinery. The site was just added to the Superfund program in March 2011.

Heavy metals found in residential properties

According to a Great Falls Tribune article heavy metals have been found in some residential yards so the testing will begin with 90 properties. The investigation will be looking for lead, arsenic and cadmium, and other heavy metals. Later on, the investigation will focus on the places where refinery operations took place, and places where waste was dumped, including the Missouri River. Great Falls is right across the Missouri River from the site.

Some cleanup related to the site was supposed to happen earlier this year but didn't because it was decided the higher priority would be cleanups where people live. The earlier planned cleanup was supposed to be along an abandoned rail line that was used to run waste down to the river for disposal. That cleanup was delayed so it wouldn't interfere with reconstruction plans for Smelter Avenue.
This site has a long and colorful history including a celebratory story about the smokestack that provided much of the soil contamination in the area. The smelter and refinery operated from 1893 to the early 1970s, according to the Environmental Protection Agency's website.

1 comment:

Well Rehabilitation said...

Wow, definitely not good, especially with the discovery of lead being found on residential properties, hope that get's resolved!