April 11, 2006

With a Record of Decision now more than two years old, some residents in the Deer Lodge Valley are losing their patience waiting for work to start on the cleanup of the upper Clark Fork River, reports the Missoulian. “We thought that since the Record of Decision was signed, things would have been started by now,” said Kathy Hadley, a valley resident and president of the CFRTAC board. Hadley and her husband Wayne were instrumental in getting the river section listed as a Superfund site. “I’d show them the map and point to that thin little blue line that connected Butte with Milltown,” Hadley said. “I told them they’d forgotten the Clark Fork River.”

That listing came in the 1980s. “It’s been 20 years and they still haven’t turned a spade,” Hadley said. Since the 2004 record of decision, the project has been at a standstill while the EPA, state of Montana and ARCO wrangle over the legal and financial details to be resolved in the consent decree, which is expected later this year.

“The only certainty is whatever time frame they give you, they won’t make it,” Hadley told the Missoulian.

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