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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Supco: Opportunity residents can pursue further cleanup

Associated Press

HELENA, Mont. – The Montana Supreme Court says residents living within a southwestern Montana Superfund site can move forward with their efforts to get the Atlantic Richfield Co. to pay for a better cleanup of arsenic left on their property after a century of copper mining.

Friday’s ruling upholds decisions made by District Judge Katherine Bidegaray in a lawsuit filed by about 100 residents of the Opportunity area in 2008. The ruling sets the stage for a trial in state court.

Arco had argued it was complying with a federal cleanup plan approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, which says arsenic levels below 250 parts per million are safe for residential soils. The residents want the area restored to the normal amount of arsenic in area soil – or about 25 ppm.

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