By: Moms Clean Air Force Montana
Date: November 30, 2020
About: United States v. Atlantic Richfield Company, Civil Action No. CV89-039-BU-SEH
To: Environmental Protection Agency
To whom it may concern:
As moms we have countless jobs. We care for our families, we earn money, we pay bills, and above all, we are always on call to keep our families safe. This last role, our most important, is a 24/7 responsibility as we cope with an uncontrolled rise in Coronavirus infections in Montana.
Deer Lodge County, where the Anaconda Superfund Site is located, is currently experiencing a spike in Coronavirus infections. Staying well and caring for our acutely ill neighbors is our current priority. We appreciate that the EPA has reached out to us for comment on the partial consent decree, but it is out of the question for our membership to review this lengthy document, attend a meeting or prepare comments during this crisis.
By now the EPA and DOJ should know Environmental Justice communities like Anaconda are hit worse than other communities by general social ills. This is the case with the Coronavirus in Anaconda. Many of our Moms Clean Air Force Members in Anaconda are first responders. They are working day and night in overcrowded health facilities. At what point in this 30-day period can they reasonably be expected to prioritize learning about this Consent Decree and responding to it? We have studied this Consent Decree well enough to know we have concerns about it. If you are serious about earning the trust of our members and adequately cleaning up the land, pause this process. Give people adequate time to consider the consent decree at a point when they are not struggling for their day to day health. If you move forward with little community input at this time, trust will be broken. You will have taken advantage of Anaconda’s focus on keeping everyone alive through the winter to push through plans that impact the lives of Anaconda residents for generations.
Thank you for your consideration,
Montana Moms Clean Air Force