Superfund Site: IDAHO POLE CO.

Superfund Site Profile

To protect human health, response actions have been designed to prevent human exposure to contaminated soils and groundwater through treatment, and engineering and institutional controls to prevent contact.

To protect the environment, sources of contamination have been removed and contaminated groundwater has been treated and cleaned up through an enhanced in-situ biodegradation process.

The Groundwater Recovery System was shut down in December 2017 for one year to determine the effectiveness that nitrate-rich nutrient injections have on groundwater concentrations of wood-treating fluids.


The Idaho Pole Co. (IPC) Superfund site is located near the northern limits of Bozeman, Montana in Gallatin County. The site includes about 75 acres, of which approximately 65 acres are owned by Idaho Pole Co. A small section of Interstate 90 (I-90) transects the property.

The IPC wood treating facility began operation in 1945 using creosote to preserve wood. In 1952 the company switched to pentachlorophenol in carrier oil (similar to fuel oil such as diesel) for the wood treating solution. Site processes included pole treatment in butt vats with the later addition of pressurized heated retort equipment in the area south of Cedar Street. Treated poles were stacked for drying and shipment in the area. Burlington Northern Railway Company operated a railroad roundhouse where wood treating chemicals and timber were shipped in and treated poles were shipped out of the site. Pole treatment processes included pole peeling with a bark-fill area for wood waste north of Cedar Street. In 1975 a pressurized heated retort was added for treating full-length poles. The pole-length vats were removed in the early 1980s. There was also a drying area where treated poles were stored prior to shipment. IPC continued wood treating with a pressurized heated retort and butt-dipping vat until September 1997, when the company ceased wood-treating operations.