The Clark Fork River Superfund Site includes the Clark Fork River from its headwaters near Warm Springs Creek to Milltown Reservoir, just east of Missoula. The primary sources of contamination are toxic mine tailing mixed with soil in the streambanks and historic floodplain. The tailings are laden with heavy metals (Cadmium, Copper, Zinc, and Lead) and arsenic from historic mining, milling and smelting processes in Butte and Anaconda. The contamination threatens human health and the environment.
The 2004 EPA Record of Decision (ROD) describes the cleanup approach, or selected remedy. In addition to the ROD, the Natural Resource Damage Program (NRDP) developed a Restoration Plan to expedite the recovery time for injured aquatic and terrestrial resources in and along the Clark Fork River. To the extent practicable, the Restoration Plan will be combined with the Remedy to maximize the use of resources.
In 2008, 25 years after the state sued the Atlantic Richfield Co. for damage to natural resources, a settlement was reached and a federal judge signed the consent decree. The state received $123 million for cleanup and restoration of mining pollution in the Clark Fork River Operable Unit.
The Clark Fork River Technical Assistance Committee (CFRTAC) was formed in 1998 as a nonprofit organization. Our goal was to provide information on the Superfund cleanup to the public to achieve the best Superfund cleanup possible. We have engaged individuals, organizations, and the public in the Superfund cleanup of the Milltown Dam/Upper Clark Fork River Site. We have provided technical support to community members and landowners throughout the Superfund cleanup process. We help local community members understand the process by providing objective information and advice particularly for landowners, such that they can make informed decisions regarding their property.
Our goal is to help make sure that the cleanup “works” for local landowners and community members with minimal disruption or economic loss and that the river is cleaned up adequately to support our fisheries and wildlife and their habitats. We are a volunteer citizens' organization whose mission is to help people participate in Superfund remediation, restoration and redevelopment of the toxic mine-waste contaminated Clark Fork River and its affected communities.
The Milltown Reservoir/Clark Fork River Superfund Site extends over 100 miles along the river from its headwaters at Warm Springs to Milltown, MT. The Milltown site remediation was completed in 2012 with restoration work continuing, and remedial construction work commenced along the main river in the Deer Lodge valley in about 2010.
Prior to the start of the river cleanup, CFRTAC was the technical assistance group for the Milltown Dam Superfund operable unit of this massive Superfund site. We were a trusted source of information for the public while remediation decisions were being made and throughout the construction phase of dam removal and cleanup and restoration. We represented the public on the EPA Design Review Team and commented on aspects of cleanup that affected the local populace. We produced a newsletter, website, and a special publication, “The Dam News,” that helped the public anticipate and understand the cleanup as it progressed. The EPA and the local community considered the public engagement aspect of this Superfund site to be well done.
CFRTAC has historically been funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as an independent technical assistance group and for over 20 years has been involved in every step of the Superfund process, from review of remedial investigations and risk assessments to evaluation of clean-up options, design and construction.
On the river operable unit of this massive Superfund site, we have provided technical assistance and outreach to local landowners and other interested community members in Montana who are affected by clean-up in the Clark Fork watershed. CFRTAC has served as a public representative in some of the Clark Fork River Design Review Team for the site's remediation and restoration work and has always worked closely with the agencies and the public. We achieve our goals by providing technical information in understandable language to landowners and other interested members of the community, and by linking them to other resources and agency personnel as needed. We attend (and convene) public meetings and meet individually with landowners to help guide them through the Superfund process.
Montana DEQ Superfund Office:
Tim Reilly, DEQ Project Manager
Kevin Stone, Public Information Specialist, Kevin.Stone@mt.gov
Montana Department of Justice, Natural Resource Damage Program - https://dojmt.gov/lands/upper-clark-fork-river-basin/ .
Phone: (406) 444-0205 Fax: (406) 444-0236 Mailing Address: PO Box 201425, Helena, MT 59620 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Doug Martin, Restoration Program Chief- (406) 444-0234 email@example.com
Clark Fork River Technical Assistance Committee
Our Board of Directors
Alex Leone works for the Clark Fork Coalition (a regional watershed group) as a stream restoration scientist based out of Anaconda, Montana. Alex is passionate about community engagement and serves on several local boards including CFRTAC, CTEC, the Arrowhead Foundation, George Grant Trout Unlimited and the Anaconda Trails Society. Alex attended both the University of Montana (B.S. in Forest Management) and Montana State University (M.S. in Earth Sciences).
Josh is a landowner along Clark Fork River (71 acres) and has some of the largest slickens in the valley. He is an Engineer (degree in Mechanical Engineering), an avid outdoors man and a can see firsthand the impact (& and clean up) of contamination. He volunteered with conservation and civic organizations in Montana and elsewhere (TU, DU, Butte historic / restoration, food banks) and knows continued cleanup will not only help health of ecosystem and protect human health but be economic and social benefit to the whole watershed.
Andy is a Project Manager for the Clark Fork Coalition and works closely with agricultural producers, water right holders, watershed groups, and agencies to develop water projects that increase stream flows and improve habitat in the Clark Fork’s tributaries and main stem. He lives in Deer Lodge with his wife and two children and is an active member in the community and is president for the Powell County Parks and Trails Board, a Search and Rescue member and coaches Deer Lodge Little League in his spare time. Andy has served on the CFRTAC board for six years.
Mark is a Restoration Ecologist / Environmental Consultant for Rampart Solutions. He has been involved with Clark Fork/Butte Superfund efforts in various capacities since 2012.
Casey is a restoration professional who collaborates with private landowners, agencies, local governments, and NGOs to restore and protect watersheds and their fisheries. Casey leads Trout Unlimited Upper Clark Fork Program which focuses on reconnecting tributaries, reclaiming abandoned mine sites, conserving water, and restoring riparian habitat in western Montana.
Kathy and her husband have lived along the Clark Fork River for a couple decades. She is retired from a 30-year career with the National Center for Appropriate Technology in Butte. She has served on the CFRTAC board for more than 20 years and has been involved in the Milltown/Clark Fork River Superfund site since 1986.
Robin has lived in Anaconda for 34 years and is very involved in the community. She is currently the President of the Anaconda Trail Society and the treasurer of the Anaconda Restoration Association. She spends as much time as she can outdoors recreating.
David has been a lifelong resident of Anaconda . He is the past president of George Grant chapter of Trout Unlimited and has been on the Board of Directors since 2000.
Joe is a hydro geologist and has spent the last 32 years evaluating the upper Clark Fork Superfund complex, first as a consultant to Atlantic Richfield and then later as a project manager for Montana Department of Environmental Quality. Having retired in 2015, Joe now keeps his hand in Superfund as a board member and volunteer technical advisor to Citizens Technical Environmental Committee of Silver Bow and Deer Lodge Counties and as a board member of CFRTAC.
Huey lives about 10 miles from town long the Clark Fork River. He is a retired soil scientist having worked for Natural Resource Conservation Service for many decades. Besides volunteering for the CFRTAC board, Huey also delivers Meals on Wheels to local community members.