In September 1983, the EPA placed the area associated with the historic Anaconda Smelter, just east of the town of Anaconda, on the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL). Consulting with the State of Montana and coordinating with Atlantic Richfield, or BP-ARCO, the primary Potentially Responsible Party for the site, EPA began investigations into the extent of contamination.
In the 30 years since, removals and cleanup actions have reduced human health risks at the site, but many concerns, and much contamination, remain. BP-ARCO’s liability and EPA’s costs are the subject of ongoing litigation.
At 585 feet tall, the Anaconda Smelter stack is a local landmark, and the largest freestanding brick chimney in the world. It was constructed more than 100 years ago, when public outcry and a need for low-cost timber forced smelting operations to move from the mines of Butte to nearby Anaconda, a community established by Copper King Marcus Daly.
The Anaconda Site is divided into a number of different Operable Units, and is as complex as Silver Bow Creek/Butte Site. Detailed information on the various Operable Units within the Anaconda Site, Records of Decision, and ongoing cleanup is available from the EPA, or from the Arrowhead Foundation, the EPA-funded TAG group for the Anaconda Area. The latest EPA Update (2011) on the site is also available to download.
In 2010, EPA issued the Fourth Five Year Review Report for the site, available to download here:
- Annual Update to the Fourth Five Year Review (2011)
- Anaconda Smelter Fourth Five Year Review Report(text) (2010)
- Anaconda Smelter Fourth Five Year Review Report (photos)
- Appendix A: Identification & Description of Applicable or Relevant & Appropriate Requirements (ARARs)
- Appendix B: Public Comments and Concerns
- Appendix C: Draft Risk Assessment Technical Memorandum
- Figures Part 1 (one large .zip file)
- Figures Part 2 (one large .zip file)
In September 2011, EPA also issued an Amendment to the 1998 Anaconda Regional Water, Waste & Soils Operable Unit (OU4) Record of Decision.
In February 2012, EPA issued a Focused Feasibility Study Final Report, Community Soils Operable Unit.
- Visit the website of the Arrowhead Foundation, the EPA-funded TAG group for the Anaconda area.
- Visit the website of the Opportunity Citizens Protection Association (OCPA), a grassroots community group concerned about environmental issues related to the BP-ARCO Waste Repository near Anaconda and Opportunity.
- Click here to view or download EPA Records of Decision for various Anaconda Smelter Operable Units.
- Additional information and site documents can be found on the EPA Superfund Website.
- A list of cleanup activities for the Anaconda Site can be found at the EPA Superfund Information System.
- Additional site details can be found on the EPA Superfund Information System Site Profile.
- The Clark Fork River Technical Assistance Committee (CFRTAC) also provides information and outreach in regards to the Clark Fork River Superfund sites and Operable Units.