Superfund Site Profile
The 3,200-acre Smurfit-Stone Mill site is located 11 miles northwest of Missoula, Montana. A pulp mill operated on site from 1957 to 2010. The core industrial footprint of the mill site covers about 100 acres. Over 900 acres of the site consist of a series of unlined ponds used to store treated and untreated wastewater effluent from the mill, as well as primary sludge recovered from untreated wastewater. Some ponds initially used to store wastewater were subsequently drained and used for the landfilling of solid wastes from the mill.
Various hazardous chemicals were used or produced on site, including bleaching chemicals. The use of chlorine for the bleaching of pulp produces chlorinated organic compounds, including dioxins and furans, through the reaction of chlorine with residual lignin. The site includes landfills used to dispose of solid wastes including general mill refuse, boiler fly ash, lime kiln grits, ragger wire and asbestos.
Site activities and waste disposal practices contaminated soil, sediment, surface water and groundwater with hazardous chemicals and heavy metals. Investigations determined that the site’s primary contamination sources include four sludge ponds, an emergency spill pond, an exposed soil pile adjacent to a landfill, a wastewater storage pond and a soil land farming area.
TOPICS IN FOCUS
A final agreement (992 pp, 144.4 MB, About PDF) has been reached to conduct an investigation of contamination at the Smurfit-Stone Mill site. Under the terms of the agreement, M2Green, International Paper, and WestRock will conduct a comprehensive investigation of soils, river sediments, and ground and surface water to determine the nature and extent of contamination at the site.
Sampling began in November 2015. The results of the investigation will determine cleanup needs and identify potential cleanup options at the site.