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Sep 5, 2019

After Tester Push, EPA Agrees to $50,000 for Butte-Silverbow Creek Feasibility Study

Tester requested agency conduct study, increase community responsiveness

The Environmental Protection Agency today agreed to a request from U.S. Senator Jon Tester to do a $50,000 feasibility study of a potential upper Butte-Silverbow Creek as part of its cleanup plan for the Butte Priority Soils Operable Unit.

In May, Tester wrote to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler demanding that the EPA respond to the community's input and do an engineering analysis of the site. He also criticized the agency's lack of transparency throughout the cleanup process, strongly urging Wheeler to make more information available to the public.

“EPA’s move is a step in the right direction to give much-needed certainty to the folks in the community who have been asking for answers for far too long,” Tester said. “I’m glad the agency agreed to my request, and I’ll keep pushing to ensure they honor their commitment to the people of Butte.”

The Restore Our Creek Coalition has been leading the charge to include upper Silver Bow Creek in the EPA's action plan, circulating a petition that garnered more than 3,500 signatures and corresponding directly with the Agency about this issue. In January, the EPA told local residents that a restored creek wouldn't be excluded from EPA's cleanup plans. But in April, the EPA sent a letter to the Coalition backtracking on its previous commitment to restore Silver Bow Creek and suggesting the Coalition consider paying for the restoration itself.

Tester has waged a relentless campaign to clean up Montana's 17 Superfund sites, including Butte, Anaconda, Columbia Falls, Libby and Troy. Tester was instrumental in getting Butte on the EPA's Superfund Site shortlist for immediate, intense action last April and recently hammered Wheeler on the Administration's attempt to cut more than $100 million in Superfund funding next year.

Tester's letter to the EPA Administrator is available HERE.

Office Contact Information

Senator Tester's Montana staff serves the state from offices in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula. Please bring your concerns with federal agencies, academy nominations, and other situations to one of these Montana offices.


Judge Jameson Federal Building
2900 4th Ave N, Suite 201
Billings, MT 59101
Phone: (406) 252-0550
Fax: (406) 252-7768


Avant Courier Building
1 E Main Street, Suite 202
Bozeman, MT 59715
Phone: (406) 586-4450
Fax: (406) 586-7647


Silver Bow Center
125 W Granite, Suite 200
Butte, MT 59701
Phone: (406) 723-3277
Fax: (406) 782-4717

Great Falls

119 1st Avenue N, Suite 102
Great Falls, MT 59401
Phone: (406) 452-9585
Fax: (406) 452-9586


Capital One Center
208 N Montana Avenue, Suite 202
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 449-5401
Fax: (406) 449-5462


8 Third Street E
Kalispell, MT 59901
Phone: (406) 257-3360
Fax: (406) 257-3974


130 W Front St.
Missoula, MT 59802
Phone: (406) 728-3003
Fax: (406) 728-2193

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