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Letters to the editor April 19

| April 19, 2023 12:00 AM

Protect our river

While the Clark Fork River has become a beautiful place for Montanans to reconnect to nature, we must remember our history. In the 1800s, Montana’s robber barons polluted our waterways from Butte to Missoula.

After a century, clean up efforts in Anaconda and Milltown have been successful. However, the Clark Fork River is under threat again.

Toxic waste dumps from the defunct Smurfit-Stone pulp mill threaten the beauty and history of the river. Pollutants like arsenic, dioxins, furans, PCBs, and manganese sit mere feet away from the river, protected only by a rodent-hole-riddled berm. Should the river flood, all of these pollutants will be washed into the Clark Fork.

This catastrophe can and should be prevented by the EPA. We urge the EPA to move forward on clean up plans, so that we can prevent the destruction of the beautiful Clark Fork River, protect the communities downstream, and maintain the health of the river’s ecosystem.

We must clean Smurfit. Please join us in calling on the EPA to protect our river and communities before disaster strikes.

— Wyatt Balius, Missoula