December 21, 2004
December 20, 2004 will be remembered as a milestone day for the Clark Fork River. After years of study, analysis, proposals, and public involvement, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), along with the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), issued the final Record of Decision (ROD) for the Milltown Reservoir Sediments Operable Unit of the Milltown Reservoir/Clark Fork River Superfund Site. The decision calls for constructing a by-pass channel in the Clark Fork River, removing the dam and related structures along with roughly 2.6 million cubic yards of contaminated sediments from the reservoir, which will be hauled by rail to the Anaconda Smelter Site for disposal. According to EPA, the cleanup is expected to take six to seven years and cost $106 million. The consent decree, the final document that wraps up the legal details, should be released early in 2005.
For more on the ROD, see CFRTAC’s January 2005 Newsletter (PDF) and the Fall 2004 Newsletter (PDF).
The Record of Decision is available on the EPA’s Milltown Website.