The first stage of an investigation into the extent of environmental hazards on the grounds of the Columbia Falls Aluminum Company has confirmed that contamination is leaking from some old landfills. Project Manager John Stroiazzo explains.

"This is the first phase of a multi-phase environmental investigation at the site. We spent the last year and a half analyzing the groundwater, surface water, and conducting other environmental investigations at the site to see the nature and extent of any issues that may be there."

Stroiazzo says the study also looked into whether or not the contamination was getting into local drinking water.

"We knew there was an issue with some old landfills that are at the site, there were some contaminates leaking from some historic landfills," Stroiazzo said. "We confirmed that and defined the source, as we believe it is. In addition to that investigation we have been monitoring and providing locals in the area with free monitoring of their well-water systems and there are no contaminants in their domestic water supply."

The EPA and the State of Montana will both inspect the Phase One report and its recommendations. Stroiazzo says comments from both entities are expected back in the next month or two.

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