Crowds turn out in Frenchtown for meeting on mill site cleanup

MISSOULA COUNTY

POSTED: 11:00 PM Nov 08 2012
Crowds turn out in Frenchtown for meeting on mill site cleanup
MISSOULA, Mont. -

Thursday evening nearly 100 people packed a Frenchtown school looking for answers to some nagging questions about the old Smurfit-Stone mill site. 

The question isn't whether the site is contaminated, it's just how fast it needs to be cleaned up.

Some residents at the meeting want it to be declared a Superfund site and want it cleaned up immediately but the Environmental Protection Agency and the company that owns the site, say there's no reason to push that hard.

Residents say they want to know what the next step in the cleanup process is and who is going to pay for the costs.

Sharon Sweeney said she wants to hear more about the environmental test results and what cleanup options there will be.

“I'm also curious how long it will take to clean up and to what degree it really needs to be cleaned up,” said Sweeney.  “I'm concerned some of the contaminants are in the flood plain, so I'm interested in that.”

Officials say it may be years before the site is fully cleaned up and they ask the public to stay positive while the site is restored, redeveloped and revived.