- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 29, 2020

BUTTE, Mont. (AP) - A Montana county approved an agreement with a former oil producer to make health and safety improvements as part of a Superfund cleanup.

The Anaconda-Deer Lodge County Commission voted Tuesday to adopt the agreement with Atlantic Richfield Co., The Montana Standard reported.

The wide-ranging agreement includes major improvements to public health and safety and at least $28.7 million in community development funding over the next 25 years, including $9 million to be paid within the first year of the agreement.

Texas-based Atlantic Richfield said last year that it spent more than $1.4 billion on the decades-long Butte Superfund cleanup. Butte was declared a federal Superfund site in 1983 because of damage done by more than a century of mining and smelting.

A greatly expanded program to remove attic dust is one of the agreement’s key public-health provisions. The program will be funded at about $500,000 per year for 25 years.

The agreement also funds a significant institutional controls infrastructure that enable the county to ensure safety is maintained with aspects of the cleanup.

The institutional controls provision provides $250,000 for building construction to house a staff to include more then four new permanent county jobs paid for by Atlantic Richfield.

In an agreement over the Old Works Golf Course, Atlantic Richfield agreed to fund course operations for 25 years, forgive a $1.2 million debt incurred by the county to Atlantic Richfield over the course and pay another $2 million in capital improvements.

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