Montana has 15 Superfund sites and a few more under study; mostly old mines, smelters, mills and railroad yards suffused with pentachlorophenals, arsenic, cadmium, lead, di-and-tetrachlroethanes and other nasty toxins.
Future sites could include the ponds along the Clark Fork River in Frenchtown where the old Smurfit-Stone Mill dumped its chlorine wastes and other dioxins. The coal ash holding ponds in Colstrip could end up on the list, too. There’ll be others.
The Environmental Protection Agency administers the clean up of these sites, holding the former owners of these properties accountable, wherever possible.
Scott Pruitt was just conformed as head of the EPA. While serving as Oklahoma Attorney General, he sued the agency a dozen times. Pruitt’s top goal is to return most pollution oversight to the states, which are ill-prepared to take on the corporate polluters. He’s also in bed with the fossil fuel industry and he’s a climate change denier.
Appointing Scott Pruitt as head of the EPA is akin to making Keith Richards the U.S. Surgeon General.
Montana Sen. Steve Daines voted to confirm Pruitt, ensuring a legacy of polluted air, earth and water. Sen. Jon Tester voted against the appointment.
Thank you, Sen. Tester, for your vote. Curse you, Sen. Daines, for yours.