Drinking water not affected by CFAC contamination


KALISPELL, Mont. - The closed Columbia Falls Aluminum Company has released a 7,300-page report, ending the first round of a Superfund investigation.

The report findings show cyanide in 78 percent of soil samples and 75 percent in groundwater samples from the plant site.

In addition, fluoride was found in 99 percent of soil and 95 percent of groundwater samples.

Lesser amounts of more than 18 metals were found at the plant as well.

Click here to read the full report for yourself.

There is a silver lining. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the report indicates none of the contamination has leached into local drinking water.

Those who live in Aluminum City, like Chris Hader, have concerns. "As they start exposing things we'll learn more," says Hader. "What all is buried there? Who knows. We'll learn. It's going to be a time consuming process though, I guarantee that."

Others, like Frank Sizemore, simply want to get the cleanup project finished.

"The only thing I hope is they can get her cleaned up and get some employment out there of some kind," Sizemore told us.

A Brazilian manufacturing company has already scoped the CFAC site, calling it their "preferred destination" because of its location. The company says the industrial site could save them millions of dollars in infrastructure expenses.

Project manager Mike Cirian tells us a quick turnaround is unlikely.

"This is phase one of our data summary report," says Cirian, "and it uses the results from our first round of sampling. We continue to run our quarterly sampling while we develop the phase two approach. Upon completion of our review we will use this information to help guide any changes necessary on the next phase of the remedial investigation. Once we complete the remedial investigation we will use that information to produce a feasibility study. This is planned to be completed by 2021. "

Only after that, he says, the cleanup process can begin.