Montana Governor Requests Superfund Status for Columbia Falls Aluminum Plant
Governor Steve Bullock sent a request to the EPA on Wednesday, February 18, asking for the Columbia Falls Aluminum Company to be designated as a National Priorities List Superfund site.
“There may be several potential contaminants,” said Montana Department of Environmental Quality spokeswoman Jeni Flatow. “This includes various metals such as arsenic and aluminum, semi volatile organic compounds, other things that are used or derived from the aluminum reduction process. So these could be in the percolation ponds at the site, in the groundwater, Cedar Creek and the Flathead River may be affected. So these are definitely things that need to be investigated further.”
The Superfund listing would allow federal funds to aid in investigating the site.
“This is the next step in the process. We need to um be able to do these remedial investigations, and get a better handle on what were looking at, what our concerns or risks are, and what we may need to do to clean it up,if anything is found.”
Flatow says a Superfund listing would not prevent the state’s legal actions against both the prior and current owners of the aluminum company site.