M2Green Redevelopment, LLC Files Comments on the
Proposed Listing of Missoula Pulp and Paper Mill to National Priorities List
Frenchtown, Mt., July 25, 2013 . . . M2Green Redevelopment, LLC, today filed comments concerning the proposed listing of the former Smurfit-Stone Container mill on the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) National Priorities List (NPL). The site is being redeveloped as the Frenchtown Technology & Industrial Center.
M2Green Redevelopment worked with the environmental consulting firm, NewFields Companies, LLC, of Missoula, to prepare a technical review and response to the EPA’s proposed NPL listing. EPA allows a 60-day comment period following a proposed listing, which expired July 23, 2013. In its comments, M2Green Redevelopment uses scientific analysis and existing data to challenge the EPA’s findings from its initial site investigation in the following ways:
• EPA’s asserted release of dioxins in sediment and manganese in surface water are not substantiated by the data.
• Dioxin concentrations in areas adjacent to the Mill property are indistinguishable from background concentrations.
• The two highest concentrations of surface water dioxin samples reported by EPA were from the Clark Fork River background (upstream) sample and from the “blank” rinsate sample that consisted of deionized water that is not associated with the Mill in any way
• All of the surface water samples collected by EPA meet applicable water sample standards.
• None of EPA’s soil samples collected from the Mill property contained dioxin at concentrations that exceed the Agency’s cleanup goals for industrial/commercial sites.
According to Ray Stillwell, president of M2Green Redevelopment, “Environmental risks associated with the Smurfit-Stone mill are limited and an NPL listing is not warranted. We continue to be committed to redeveloping a property that does not pose a threat to human health or the environment. We are anxious to engage with the EPA to discuss mechanisms for environmental assessment and cleanup where necessary. And, we encourage the use of other assessment and cleanup mechanisms such as Montana State administered programs. There are many programs that are just as diligent as federal superfund but allow our company to put the property back into productive reuse much more efficiently.”
Stillwell adds, “This would mean we could focus on creating sustainable jobs and opportunities at the location where they had been lost. We want to bring companies in advanced technologies and industries to the area so we can help provide good paying jobs in an economy where sustainable employment isn’t always easy to find. We just believe a State led program would be the most effective use of resources and get people back to work faster.”
Since purchasing the site, M2Green Redevelopment has experienced interest from numerous prospects in various industries and technologies. Most recently, the company agreed to the sale of approximately 168 acres of land to Frenchtown businessman and rancher, Dick Lucier for the expansion of his ranching operation. M2Green has hired CBRE to market the site to prospects worldwide and local water marketing company, Lotic, to market the site’s water rights portfolio.
M2Green Redevelopment has also been working over the last two years to analyze and repurpose many of the site’s assets and prepared a rail line agreement with Montana Rail Link. It also has released a preliminary land-use plan outlining potential uses for the property and shared that plan with the community. Stillwell adds, “We are also proud to say that most of the progress at the site has been handled by local contractors we hired since the clean up process began. A total of about 40 employees were working on site during this time and we chose to use these local contractors instead of using outside companies to further the economic benefit of the redevelopment to the community.”
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