photo courtesy of Missoula County

Missoula County Commissioners sent a letter to Governor Schweitzer on Thursday asking him to request the former Smurfit Stone mill site be placed on the National Priorities List by the Environmental Protection Agency.

KGVO News attended a joint public meeting earlier this month with the West Valley Community Council, where representatives from the EPA and the State’s Departments of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Fish, Wildlife, and Parks discussed the results of the EPA’s preliminary assessment at the site.

The Chief Administrative Officer for the county, Dale Bickell, says the county is hopeful that other areas near the site can still be viable locations for business and industry, while every measure is being taken to solve any pollution problems that remain after decades of industrial use.

If the site is added to the National Priorities List, the EPA will require that the companies responsible for the pollution pay for the costs of clean-up.

Missoula County Chief Administrative Officer Dale Bickell