August 3, 2005

Champagne corks popped at the confluence of the Clark Fork and Blackfoot Rivers to celebrate the formal unveiling of the Milltown Reservoir Superfund Site Consent Decree. The event marked the culmination of more than two decades of study and planning.

The Consent Decree, released on August 2, 2005, is the legal settlement that resolves numerous issues and details, from outlining the project work plan to determining who pays for what costs. The decree was signed by ARCO-British Petroleum, the Northwestern Corporation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Justice, the state of Montana and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

Under the agreement, ARCO-BP and the Northwestern Corporation recognize their responsibility for the roughly $100 million cleanup. They agreed to remove nearly 2.5 million cubic yards of toxic sediment and the Milltown Dam and related structures. The state of Montana will follow with a restoration effort to reestablish stream channels and native vegetation. ARCO-BP and Northwestern will pay for work relating to bull trout mitigation, historic preservation, the removal of the Stimson Dam on the Blackfoot, and other project-related costs.

Follow these links for the Consent Decree (PDF) and the Statement of Work (PDF). Also see CFRTAC’s summary of the documents and the the Summer 2005 CFRTAC Newsletter for more information.

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