DEQ orders cleanup of PCBs at Stimson site

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The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) said last week it will require Stimson Lumber Co. to remove additional pollution discovered at the cleanup site in Bonner, Montana.

Recent sampling at the cleanup site shows additional contamination of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at high levels.

“The DEQ is taking this seriously and cleaning up the PCBs is a priority,” said DEQ Director Richard Opper.

“Thank goodness we sampled and found the problem. Our No. 1 purpose is to protect human health and the environment.”

Late last fall, the DEQ required Stimson to install nine monitoring wells near or inside the original removal area. During installation of one of the wells, highly concentrated PCB levels above 6,000 parts per million (ppm) were detected in the soils.

DEQ’s cleanup level is 0.74 ppm. While the contamination level is high, the PCBs don’t appear to be threatening the Blackfoot River. The well is located about 50 feet west of the original removal area.

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