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Superfund task force launches in Anaconda

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BUTTE, Mont. - Anaconda-Deer Lodge County residents met Wednesday with officials from the county, the EPA and mining company Atlantic Richfield at the first official meeting of a new Superfund task force.

The EPA determined about 80 percent of the county needs to be cleaned of contaminants from previous mining activity, including the park where arsenic and lead were found in May.

The stretch of land is referred to as a Superfund site, and Bill Everett, the creator of the task force and Anaconda-Deer Lodge County CEO, said it is one of the largest in the world.

Everett said the task force meetings will create an open dialogue between officials and residents. He said up until now it's been hard for residents to get information about the cleanup.

"The community and residents have had very little involvement, and this is their community," Everett said. "So we're trying to provide a platform where not only can they ask these questions, but they also can have input into the direction that we're going with these agencies."

Everett told NBC Montana the meetings will be held every other week for the time being.

The task force will hold its next meeting June 28 at 6 p.m. at the Anaconda-Deer Lodge County Court.

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