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DEQ planning cleanup of former Montana Pole Plant site

Posted at 10:49 AM, Feb 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-21 17:10:45-05

BUTTE - The 37-acre Montana Pole Plant site located on the west end of Butte will get a final clean up.

Closed down since 1984, the area has been contaminated by chemicals that were used as preservatives for wooden posts and poles in its 40 years of operation.

“And those chemicals are extremely toxic to human health, so we take this quite seriously,” said DEQ Representative David Bowers.

Cleanup will include a 9-acre landfill on the site to be capped so the chemical can’t escape the site. The rest of the area will be zoned at light industrial/commercial use for future development.

The pole plant has had a history of environmental issues just before it shutdown.

“There was a complaint lodged for an oily substance leaking into Silver Bow Creek. It was investigated by DEQ and the EPA. EPA responded with emergency cleanups,” said Bowers.

The DEQ says this is a very significant moment because this is the first phase of a project that will finally cleanup a very contaminated site.

“It’ll take one construction season basically to clean up everything that we would like to do for the south side,” he said.

The next public meeting is Feb. 29, 6:30 p.m., at 350 Josette Ave. in Butte.