Property Owner Argues that EPA Superfund Listing of Smurfitt-Stone Mill Would be Bad for Missoula County Jobs
The Environmental Protection Agency announced May 21, that it had nominated the former Smurfit-Stone mill near Frenchtown for placement on the National Priorities List as a Superfund site.
M2Green Investments currently owns the mill and President Ray Stillwell says he hopes Superfund status doesn’t happen for the site, and that it can be cleaned up in another way.
“We have discussed the voluntary program offered by the DEQ, which is a non-taxpayer funded program, because we as a company would pay the costs of the employees of the DEQ,” Stillwell said. “That particular program will allow us to much more aggressively pursue redevelopment and job creation at the site.”
Stillwell says that being on the National Priorities List will bog the property down in “bureaucratic time delays,” and will give the property a “stigma” that will delay investments from buyers and renters.
“I think the folks in Frenchtown and in Missoula County are interested in not only an environmentally safe site and workplace, but jobs. If they want to see those jobs and that economic activity come sooner, I think they should make a comment during the comment period that they would like to see one of the alternatives to the National Priorities List used here.”
The 60 day public comment period ends on July 20. The website for submitting comments is regulations.gov.