Cleanup site in Billings added to EPA national Superfund priorities list

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Since 1992, a state Superfund site has covered parts of central and downtown Billings, where dry cleaning solvents and other contaminants have fouled soil and groundwater. More recently, those solvents have evaporated, becoming trapped in homes and businesses.

Photo Courtesy Montana Department of Environmental Quality PAUL HAMBY

A nearly 30-year-old cleanup site in south-central Billings received federal support Wednesday.

Solvents stemming from old dry cleaning businesses in central and downtown Billings created a plume of around 855 acres stretching for three miles, with those solvents evaporating into the air of properties in the region as a potentially cancerous vapor. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has now added the site to the agency’s national priorities list a year after proposing its addition.

Adding the site to the national priorities list will allow for a comprehensive evaluation of the impact to the water and air quality in the Billings area, said Betsy Smidinger, the director of EPA Region 8’s Superfund and Emergency Management Division in press released published Wednesday.

Montana recognized the plume that stretches around

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