In 1882, a rich copper vein was discovered in Butte by Copper King, Marcus Daly. As part of the mining process, a smelter was needed to refine the copper ore. An area only 25 miles west and north of the ore body with adequate space and an abundant water supply, was chosen for the smelter site. By 1883, the city of Anaconda was planned and quickly grew alongside Daly’s Anaconda Mining Company.

After the smelter operations ceased in 1980, the community was faced with the environmental and public health impacts of over 100 years of smelting. In 1983, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) placed Anaconda-Deer Lodge County on the National Priorities List (NPL), also known as Superfund.

Despite these challenges, Anaconda-Deer Lodge County provided the leadership necessary for the community to not only survive, but once again thrive. Today, residents take pride in the unique, charming character of their community, and the crucial role its history played in the national mining era.

Anaconda Community Service Center

118 East 7th Street

Anaconda, MT 59711

Third Floor

(406) 563 – 7019

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Institutional Controls (ICs) are non-engineered instruments, such as administrative and legal controls, that help minimize the potential for human exposure to contamination and/or protect the integrity of the remedy. Within the Anaconda Smelter NPL Site, Institutional Controls will:

  • Assure that future land and water use at the site is consistent with EPA’s determination of the health and environmental risks posed by contaminants left on site;
  • Provide for the preservation and maintenance of Superfund remediated areas, including but not limited to engineered caps, covers, storm water conveyances, water storage areas and reclaimed areas;
  • Require that future development at the site employ construction practices that are consistent with the protection of public health and the environment, as determined by Superfund remedial actions;
  • As development occurs at the site, implement the remediation of soil arsenic and lead contamination to levels appropriate for the intended use, as determined by Superfund remedial actions;
  • Provide for implementation of other laws applicable to development, such as subdivision and floodplain requirements; and
  • Provide information and notice to the public (users or potential users of land or groundwater) to ensure that they do not permanently disturb or damage remediated areas.
The Community Protective Measures Program (CPMP) strives to create a protective environment for all Anaconda-Deer Lodge County residents, their homes, yards, and drinking water with regards to smelter-related contamination through:

  • educating residents how to keep themselves and their children safe as they live, play and work in A-DLC;
  • teaching residents what to do when they plan on working on their property;
  • helping residents understand how Anaconda’s rich mining and smelting past can affect their lives today; and
  • assisting residents understand how to best handle any health concerns that may arise from living in an area with potentially contaminated soil, water, and dust.

For more information, visit the CPMP page here.

The GIS Database is a computer-based tool that utilizes spatial data for mapping and analyzing information and events that are associated with a specific location for those properties within Anaconda-Deer Lodge County. This system stores information about the Site as a collection of thematic layers that can be linked together by geography.

The most important components of the GIS Database are the data sources. The types of data currently contained in this system include: aerial photos, site features and other physical property data; land use/type data; Institutional Controls (including land use restrictions); environmental data (primarily soil arsenic concentrations); and remedial actions taken on a parcel-by-parcel basis, including remedy as-built drawings. Thus, the GIS Database provides an accessible record of the existence of Institutional Controls and the remedial actions for specific areas of the Site.

The County ensures a vibrant future for our community by making the most of Superfund opportunities. As a community we can seize the development opportunities of Superfund, rather than allowing it to be a roadblock. The County and our community partners continue to make strides forward by participating and being involved in all aspects of Superfund. In 2009, these efforts led to the creation of a Superfund Priority Development Program and an Economic Development Plan.
Institutional Controls Agreement
Arrowhead Foundation
Water & Environmental Technologies LLC
EPA Region

Anaconda Smelter NPL Site

The Anaconda Smelter National Priority List (NPL) Site is located at the southern end of the Deer Lodge Valley. For more information about the site’s organization, updates on remediation decisions and cleanup, or how the community is positively using former Superfund lands visit the website of our Technical Assistant Grant (TAG) group, the Arrowhead Foundation.

The Anaconda Smelter NPL Site consists of five Operable Units (OUs). These Operable Units are:

  1. Mill Creek OU
  2. Flue Dust OU
  3. Old Works/East Anaconda Development Area OU (OW/EAD OU)
  4. Community Soils OU (CS OU)
  5. Anaconda Regional Water, Waste & Soils OU (ARWW&S OU)

The EPA further subdivided the ARWW&S OU into fifteen Remedial Design Units (RDUs). The following are a list of RDUs:

RDU 1 – Stucky Ridge Uplands
RDU 2 – Lost Creek Uplands
RDU 3 – Smelter Hill Uplands
RDU 4 – Anaconda Ponds WMA
RDU 5 – Active Railroad/Blue Lagoons
RDU 6 – South Opportunity Ponds Uplands
RDU 7 – North Opportunity Ponds Uplands
RDU 8 – Opportunity Ponds
RDU 9 – Fluvial Tailings
RDU 10 – Warm Springs Creek
RDU 11 – Cashman Concentrate
RDU 12 – Slag
RDU 13 – Old Works WMA
RDU 14 – Smelter Hill Facility Area WMA
RDU 15 – Mount Haggin Uplands

Staff

Carl NymanSuperfund Coordinator