News Releases from Region 08

Action makes way proposed housing and commercial redevelopment projects

07/19/2019

Bozeman, Mont.  — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced its intent to delete a portion of the Idaho Pole Company Superfund site in Gallatin County, Montana, from the National Priorities List (NPL) of the nation’s most contaminated sites. EPA and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality have determined that all required cleanup activities are complete in the area proposed for deletion. EPA is accepting public comments on the proposed action through August 19, 2019.

“EPA shares this milestone with those affected by contamination from historic wood treatment operations at the Idaho Pole Company site,” said EPA Regional Administrator Gregory Sopkin. “We celebrate the successful cleanup of these properties with our partners at the State of Montana, Gallatin County, the City of Bozeman, and the local community, and we look forward to their productive reuse.”

EPA placed the site on the NPL in 1986 due to contamination, mainly pentachlorophenol and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, associated with a historic wood- treating facility that operated from 1945 to 1997. In addition, the Northern Pacific Railroad operated a five-stall roundhouse and storage facility on site from approximately 1883 to 1945. In 1992, EPA selected a cleanup remedy for soil and groundwater to protect human health and the environment. The soil remedy consisted of excavating contaminated soils and using indigenous microscopic organisms to treat the soils on site. These treated soils were placed on site with a protective soil cover in a 4.5-acre “Treated Soils Area” located above historic groundwater levels. In total, approximately 24,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil were excavated and successfully treated at the site.

With today’s action, EPA is proposing to delete surface and unsaturated subsurface soils on more than 82 acres of the site based on a determination that no further action is needed to protect human health and the environment in these areas, which are considered appropriate for unlimited use and unrestricted exposure. Interest in the redevelopment of these properties is high given the proximity of the site to downtown Bozeman. Current plans for the area include the potential for high-density affordable housing, rural residential development, and other commercial or industrial uses.

The Treated Soils Area and a Controlled Groundwater Area, which restricts groundwater use at the site, will remain on the NPL. A Notice of Institutional Control applies covenants, conditions and restrictions on the Treated Soils Area to ensure the remedy remains protective. EPA will also continue to address the groundwater component of the remedy, which includes the treatment of contaminated saturated soils and groundwater.

The Idaho Pole Company Superfund site is located in Gallatin County and northern portions of the City of Bozeman. The site occupies approximately 87 acres in the east half of Section 6 and the west half of Section 5, Township 2S, Range 6E of Gallatin County. The site is bounded by the Montana Rail Link railroad tracks to the south, L Street to the west and Rocky Creek to the east and north of the site. Interstate 90, Bohart Lane and Cedar Street traverse the site in an east-west direction.

The site and the areas proposed for deletion will continue to be thoroughly evaluated every five years to ensure that remedies and controls remain protective of human health and the environment. The next five-year review will be completed in 2020.   

For more information on the Idaho Pole site visit: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/idaho-pole  

For information on how to comment visit: https://www.epa.gov/mt/opportunity-comment-partial-deletion-idaho-pole-co-superfund-site



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