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
(406) 563 – 7019
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:
- Mill Creek OU
- Flue Dust OU
- Old Works/East Anaconda Development Area OU (OW/EAD OU)
- Community Soils OU (CS OU)
- 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