A podcast about the past, present and future of one of America's most notorious Superfund sites

If you don’t know Butte Montana, you might have heard it’s one of the biggest toxic messes in the country. But now the “mining city” is on the verge of sealing a deal that could clean it up once and for all.

So how did we get here? What comes after Superfund? And who gets to decide?

Find out on Richest Hill, a new podcast from Montana Public Radio, now available here or wherever you get your podcasts.

Episode 09: Butte Never Says Die!

The core of the Superfund deal itself, and how it proposes to solve Butte’s lingering environmental problems forever, is really important and complicated, both legally and technically. And no wonder. Three levels of government — the county, state and feds — plus a former oil company, all had to settle their differences, and agree on how to...

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Like ‘Richest Hill’? Check Out ‘Shared State’

Hi all, Richest Hill host Nora Saks here. I wanted to pop in real quick to let you know that episode 9, which we're calling 'Butte never says die,' is almost done and will be out very soon. In the mean time, I want to tell you about another podcast coming your way. It's called Shared State and it's a...

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‘Richest Hill’ Host Nora Saks Wins Schorr Journalism Prize

Nora Saks, the reporter and host for Montana Public Radio’s Richest Hill podcast has been awarded the 2019 Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize. Richest Hill dives deep into the history of Butte, MT to tell the colorful and complicated story of how the city became one of America’s most notorious Superfund sites. Nora and producer Nick...

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Episode 08: The Art Of The Superfund Deal

During his reign, President Trump has radically transformed the Environmental Protection Agency. I haven’t known how to square the EPA's cheerleading on Superfund with the Trump Administration’s overall track record on the environment, and whether all the action we’re seeing in Butte, Montana is the Superfund exception, or the rule. If we really want to understand what’s happening here and...

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Episode 07: The Possibilities Are Endless, And The Choice Is Ours

After reporting on Superfund for several years, it’s obvious to me that everyone here wants the best possible cleanup for their town. And, there are very different definitions of what that means. A lot of folks in Butte are fired up about bringing this stretch of long-dead creek back to life. And on the surface, I get it. Superfund...

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EPA To Announce Final Butte Cleanup Deal

This season on Richest Hill you’ve been hearing all about what mining meant for Butte, the toxic legacy it left behind, and about sprawling efforts to clean it up that have spanned more than 30 years. And this week, something big is gonna happen.

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