Judge Finalizes Clark Fork Cleanup Settlement

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – A judge has finalized a $168 million settlement between the state and Atlantic Richfield Co. for cleaning up pollution in the upper Clark Fork River area.

Attorney General Mike McGrath says the settlement, first announced earlier this year, was finalized this week.

He says the state should start receiving payments from Arco within 90 days. Cleanup in the Butte and Anaconda areas will follow.

The state first sued in 1983 over mining waste in an area that stretches from Anaconda to the site of the Milltown Dam. It also covers cleanup in the mountains around Anaconda, Butte area groundwater and Silver Bow Creek.

McGrath says the local communities will be involved in deciding how best to restore the areas.