CFAC makes first payment to feds for plant investigation costs

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Columbia Falls Aluminum Company has reimbursed the federal government for some of the costs of investigating its former Columbia Falls plant.

The aluminum plant was permanently closed in 2015 and declared a Superfund site last year. The company is currently investigating the site under the Environmental Protection Agency’s oversight and direction. In its Agreement on Consent, it agreed to reimburse the agency and its contractors, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, for those oversight costs.

It sent the first of those reimbursements Friday, in the form of a $302,326 check to the EPA.

“The payment is the first reimbursement to government under the agreement which insures that CFAC and not the government or taxpayers, will pay the costs necessary to assess the site,” company spokesperson John Stroiazzo said in a press release.

The company says it has also paid for monitoring wells, soil and water sampling and analysis, and technical experts coordinating the investigation.

These efforts enabled it to submit a draft Phase I Data Summary Report and Screening Level Ecological Risk Assessment Summary Report to the EPA and Montana Department of Environmental Quality in February 2017.

It’s required to submit draft risk-assessment work plans for the site this quarter. The overall work associated with the Remedial Investigation/Feasibility is expected to continue into 2021.

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