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Butte, Anaconda added to EPA high priority list

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BUTTE, Mont. - A new deadline is in place Monday for several highly contaminated areas in and around Butte.

Butte's Berkeley Pit and West Side Soils, west of Uptown, are the most notable areas. Both have been placed on the EPA's high priority list.

The end of January is when all parties involved have to agree on a plan to clean up the contaminated areas.

For the Berkeley Pit, that means a plan to have the Horseshoe Bend Water Treatment Plant ready in five years to pump and treat the pit's contaminated water.

For West Side Soils, agencies have a little over a month and a half to solidify a plan to locate and clean up contaminants left behind by copper mining.

Anaconda is also on the list to be cleaned up.

The EPA intends to address over 1,000 homes for arsenic and lead. This comes after a century of copper smelting in the area.

Next, all parties involved must meet the deadline with a plan. The EPA will then review the agreed upon plan and decide whether to adopt it based on their guidelines.

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