“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,” EPA Regional Administrator Shaun McGrath said. “We are encouraged that sampling is scheduled to begin this month.”
In an initial investigation of the site, which is also known as the Frenchtown Mill and formerly operated as an integrated pulp and paper mill, the EPA found contaminants like dioxins, furans, arsenic and manganese. According to the agreement, the three companies will fully investigate the soil, river sediments, groundwater and surface water at the site and repay the EPA for $600,000 already spent there.
The 3,100-acre site is 11 miles outside of Missoula and close to the Clark Fork River, a bull trout habitat. The EPA and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality worked together to determine what was needed in the investigation, the results of which will dictate the site’s cleanup. The EPA will hold a public hearing in Frenchtown, located three miles from the site, to discuss the agreement on November 12 at 6 p.m.