EPA Superfund official remembered for leadership, expertise

DUNCAN ADAMS

The Montana Office of EPA Region 8 grieved this week for the loss of another leader based in Helena with ties to Superfund cleanup in southwest Montana.

Joseph Vranka, 61, died Jan. 5.

Dana Barnicoat, community involvement coordinator for the EPA Region 8 Montana Office, released a statement Wednesday about Vranka’s work for the agency.

“Joe was an indispensable part of EPA, and for nearly 15 years led the Superfund Remedial Program in Helena,” Barnicoat said.

“Joe’s leadership, expertise, and connection to Montana ensured that some of the most difficult Superfund projects in the country received the attention and dedication of EPA with the highly dedicated team he led in Montana,” he said.

Before joining Region 8 in 2008, Vranka worked for 17 years at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. 

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Vranka was hired before the death of John Wardell, 64, director of the Montana Operations Office for EPA Region 8.

In August 2009, Wardell died after a fall descending Snowshoe Peak near Libby.

Wardell and Vranka had different jobs but both were involved with Superfund remediation activities in Montana.

Vranka was the first-line supervisor for the remedial project managers

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