EPA’s plan to sanction use of slightly contaminated fill dirt in Butte remains controversial

The dirt might just hit the fan.

The EPA released Friday a position paper touting the benefits of using slightly contaminated dirt within a Superfund site for general fill instead of trucking in clean fill.

At the same time, KC Becker, EPA’s regional administrator, based in Colorado, issued a statement citing the benefits of using what the EPA describes as “onsite material” and others characterize as “grey dirt” or “dirty dirt” within the Butte Priority Soils Operable Unit.  

Both news releases occurred after most citizens and news media outlets were focused on the weekend ahead. Yet both cited “transparent community engagement” as a goal.

EPA will hold a public meeting Aug. 30 in Butte to discuss the use of onsite material within areas of the Silver Bow Creek Corridor.

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Several sites within the Silver Bow Creek Corridor could employ onsite material, or grey dirt, as fill material when Superfund work proceeds. 

Courtesy Atlantic Richfield

The sites include, among others, the Northside Tailings Area, East Buffalo Gulch and the Diggings

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