BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to visit two contaminated mining industry sites in Montana as the agency tries to speed up cleanup work that began more than three decades ago.
Acting EPA administrator David Wheeler was to visit the communities of Butte and Anaconda Friday with US Sen. Steve Daines.
Butte is home to the notorious Berkeley Pit, an open-pit coper mine that holds 50 billion gallons of acidic, metal-laden water where an estimated 3,000 snow geese died in 2016.
Anaconda's environmental damage was caused by copper smelting that sent arsenic, lead and other metals into the air until 1980.
EPA officials in June announced a "conceptual" clean-up plan for Butte. In July they reached a preliminary agreement with Atlantic Richfield Company over pollution in Anaconda.
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