November 29, 2021

Idaho Pole Project Announcement/Update/Solar

​ The EPA, in cooperation with the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), is continuing to address the Idaho Pole
Superfund Site (Site). Based on the analysis of current zoning and land uses, the area of the Site that presents the greatest
potential for redevelopment is 35.5-acres located south of Interstate 90, north of the Montana Rail Link railroad tracks, and east of L Street.
These parcels are located within the Bozeman city limits and are zoned manufacturing and industrial.

An initial step in the redevelopment process was to issue an August 2021 comfort letter from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide a prospective purchaser of property at the site and other parties with the information EPA has about the current status of the property, concerns raised by the community, EPA’s intentions with respect to the property as of the date of the letter, and potential liability protections. A comfort letter is usually connected to the cleanup or redevelopment of property that may have had environmental contamination, under which EPA provides a measure of "comfort" by explaining the potential or actual EPA involvement at a specific property.

EPA and DEQ have also approved a sampling and analysis plan to characterize the 35.5 acre surface and subsurface soils. The intent is to collect multiple samples throughout the 35 acres for analysis of the Site contaminants of concern, including dioxin, pentachlorophenol, and polycylic aromatic hydrocarbons. Although historic soil samples met the cleanup criteria outlined in the 1992 Record of Decision, some toxicity values for Site contaminants of concern have become more stringent. Understanding current Site conditions allows for the identification of potential exposure areas that may be associated with future development plans.

In addition, EPA and DEQ submitted comments on the draft groundwater Focused Feasibility Study (FFS) to Idaho Pole. The agencies expect to receive a revised Focused Feasibility Study in 2021. We anticipate releasing a Proposed Plan in early 2022 that identifies how we intend to clean up remaining groundwater contamination. When the Proposed Plan is released for a 30-day public comment period, the Agencies will hold a public meeting to discuss the plan and solicit feedback from the community. The Proposed Plan will culminate in EPA’s issuance of a written Record of Decision selecting a modified groundwater remedy for the Site.

 

To learn more about the site letter, visit: www.epa.gov/superfund/idaho-pole. Contact Archer, Beth <archer.elizabeth@epa.gov> with questions. 

*Please note: NENA will host a 90-minute Townhall with the potential developers of the Idaho Pole Site on January 20. Click on UPCOMING EVENTS at nenabozeman.org for updates on the Townhall. Plans from the developer have not been submitted to the city at this time.*
 

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