Episodes

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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Episode 06: Our Most Cherished Beliefs

After more than 30 years in limbo, without a final cleanup agreement, the ink is drying on Butte’s big Superfund deal as we speak. What it means and why it matters has everything to do with what played out when Superfund came to Montana’s Mining City. So today we’re asking: back in those early days of Superfund, who were...

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Episode 05: Out Of The Frying Pan, Into The Fire

From Evel Knievel to a 'Great Flood' and on to the dawning of the Superfund era, Episode 5 looks at the origins of the government program designed to force whoever made the mess to clean it up. Did you know that when Superfund arrived in Montana, it didn’t start on the Butte Hill, blanketed in raw mine dumps? Or even...

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Episode 04: We Gave It To The Pit

I live a mile away from the Berkeley Pit, the mile by mile and a half wide former open-pit mine, which is now filled with a 50 billion gallon toxic lake. Every time I visit, I leave hyper aware of the contradictions and compromises that go hand in glove with industrialization. I find myself wondering: who thought chiseling a...

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