EPA, Glencore Inch Closer to CFAC Cleanup Plan

Officials say document could be finalized by the end of November

By Justin Franz

Officials with the Environmental Protection Agency say they are close to finalizing an Administrative Order of Consent with Glencore that will set the stage for a full cleanup of the former Columbia Falls Aluminum Company site.

The EPA’s Mike Cirian says the document could be finalized by the end of November.

An Administrative Order of Consent is an agreement between a business and a regulatory agency where the business agrees to pay for environmental damages. Cirian also says it’s possible that both sides will come to an agreement where the former CFAC site will not be formally listed as a Superfund site. If it were however, it would be listed sometime early next year.

Once the administrative order is in place, Glencore contractors would work with the EPA on installing wells on the aluminum plant site to test the soil and ground water. Cirian says before any major cleanup begins, officials have to know exactly what they’re dealing with. Previous tests have detected contaminants like cyanide, fluoride, and metals, such as arsenic, chromium, lead, and selenium.

The site operated as a primary aluminum reduction facility between 1955 and 2009.

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