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News Releases from Region 08

Final agreement to study contamination at Smurfit Stone Mill site (Missoula County, Mont.)

Contact Information: 
Joe Vranka (Vranka.joe@epa.gov)

Sampling to begin this month will inform future cleanup actions

(Denver, Colo. - November 12, 2015) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a final agreement to investigate contamination at the Smurfit Stone Mill Superfund site, in Missoula County, Montana. Under the terms of the agreement, M2Green, International Paper, and WestRock will conduct a comprehensive investigation of soils, river sediments, and ground and surface water to determine the nature and extent of contamination at the site, also known as the Frenchtown Mill. The companies will also collectively reimburse EPA more than $600,000 for past costs incurred.

"This agreement helps us take the steps necessary to fully identify and begin to address threats to human health and the environment at the Smurfit Stone Mill site," said Shaun McGrath, EPA's regional administrator in Denver. "We are encouraged that sampling is scheduled to begin this month."

The site, located 11 miles northwest of Missoula and three miles south of Frenchtown, covers more than 3,100 acres adjacent to the Clark Fork River, a fishery that includes the federally designated threatened bull trout. EPA's initial evaluation of the site indicates that the former integrated pulp and paper mill contains various contaminants of concern, including dioxins, furans, arsenic and manganese.

EPA worked closely with the Montana Department of Environmental Quality to negotiate the scope and details of the remedial investigation.

The results of the investigation will determine cleanup needs and identify potential cleanup options at the site. EPA will attend a public meeting in Frenchtown held by the West Valley Community Council on Thursday, November 12, at 6:00 p.m. at the Frenchtown Fire Hall to discuss the agreement, address questions, and outline next steps.

For more information, visit: http://cumulis.epa.gov/supercpad/cursites/csitinfo.cfm?id=0802850