- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 25, 2020

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

Anaconda-Deer Lodge County Chief Executive Bill Everett announced Tuesday that it reached a financial settlement with Atlantic Richfield Company, The Montana Standard reported.

The wide-ranging agreement includes at least $28.7 million in community development funding over the next 25 years, including about $9 million to be paid within the first year.

Texas-based Atlantic Richfield said in April that it had spent more than $1.4 billion on the decades-long Butte Superfund cleanup and expected to spend at least $100 million more.

Butte was declared a federal Superfund site in 1983 because of the damage done by more than a century of mining and smelting.



The agreement’s public health provisions include an expanded attic dust removal program and an expansion of a yard soil replacement program.

The company will also fund well testing for residents, regardless of whether they have already had previous testing.

The county will receive $500,000 to be put in an interest-bearing account to replace wells or provide bottled water for residents whose wells have high contaminant levels.

The agreement provides $3 million in economic development funds in the first four months, which Everett said is earmarked to assist a $10 million hotel complex project in Anaconda.

A $5.5 million payment will retire the county’s debt on its new wastewater treatment plant, Everett said.

Five meetings have been scheduled over the next two weeks to garner public input.

Following the community input period, the county commission will vote whether to authorize Everett to sign the agreement and forward it to the federal court overseeing the Superfund lawsuit.

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