Zinke Should Ensure Glencore Takes Responsibility for Cleanup

As new business owners in Columbia Falls we are extremely optimistic about the future of our community

By Carla and Darin Fisher

We are writing in response to Montana U.S. Rep. Zinke’s latest editorial on the cleanup of the Columbia Falls Aluminum Company site outside of Columbia Falls. Zinke continues to push the idea of state control despite the fact that Glencore stopped talking to the state over a year ago. At that point the EPA stepped in and since then Glencore has actually started to take some steps towards a cleanup. We encourage residents of Columbia Falls to question Zinke’s assumptions that a Superfund designation leads to a stigma that hampers growth and property values.

As new business owners in Columbia Falls we are extremely optimistic about the future of our community. Rather than focus on the past or try to recreate the past as Zinke wishes, we want to look to the future and contribute to the great things happening here right now. There is an energy and an excitement in our community about what the future holds and it is insulting that Zinke thinks that a Superfund designation would keep Columbia Falls from becoming a “thriving community.”

We also question the comparison to Libby. CFAC is a facility outside of the city limits of Columbia Falls and is a specific site; Libby’s serious contamination affected the entire city including ball fields, schools and homes. Even so, Libby is a great example of the positive effects of an environmental cleanup. Although Libby’s situation was more extensive and the recovery longer, Libby is seeing positive growth and change as well. Regardless, if Superfund is what it takes to ensure Glencore takes responsibility and cleans up the site then we are confident that our community will take that “stigma of a Superfund site” and continue to thrive.

Carla and Darin Fisher
Columbia Falls

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