The Environmental Protecton Agency—Butte-Silver Bow Health Department propaganda machine is in full swing.
Local media have been inundated by ads promoting the “listening session” that EPA, Atlantic Richfield Co. and Butte-Silver Bow will be having on Dec. 3 regarding the health study to evaluate the effectiveness of Superfund in Butte.
All of this media activity is to convince the public that the EPA and Butte Health Department are “really listening” to citizens and want to involve citizens in the design, development and execution of the health study.
It is easy to see through the charade:
1. These listening sessions are designed not to solicit comments from the public but to beguile the public into seeing the merits of the health study as designed by Arco, EPA and the Butte Health Department. Citizens are supposed to patiently listen as EPA/Butte Health Department promotes their health study. Make no mistake: the dealth department has already announced that results of the study before it is conducted — there is no cancer problem here associated with the Superfund toxics and Superfund is working well. What wanton hubris is this.
2. Although citizens were promised an independent study, this study is being conducted not by the health department, which does not have the expertise to do such as study, but by EPA and Arco. EPA and Arco have invested millions of dollars and countless time into developing and executing the Superfund cleanup in Butte. Would a reasonable person really expect EPA and Arco to find that their work has been in vain and that Superfund is not working to protect the public health? Do we really want those who did the work to evaluate how well they did? Is there a possibility of bias here?
Butte citizens need to demand a truly independent and unbiased study of Superfund’s effectiveness.
John W. Ray
915 West Galena St.