For those who missed it, Butte has done it again. The December issue of National Geographic features a story titled “Wasteland” by author Paul Voosen. The story revisits Superfund sites and cleanups across our nation and the 49 million Americans, or 1 in 6 of us who live nearby them. A sprawling panorama of Butte’s Berkeley Pit landscape is included in the spread of photos by photographer Fritz Hoffman. (Visit http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2014/12/superfund/voosen-text to read the story/see the photo, or pick up a copy at the newsstand.)
For Butte, this type of story is nothing new. Our circumstances of facing environmental challenges will continue to be fodder for all levels of the media for decades. Most past stories have covered the problems. But Voosen’s article, in a refreshing change, focuses on the progress made throughout the country and the solutions devised to overcome the problems.
In Butte, we need to continue that focus. At this point in our Superfund cleanup marathon, our community needs to concentrate on effectively implementing the decisions already in place, while at the same time, keep coming up with innovative solutions to our remaining environmental challenges and the ones to come.
To that end, our Council of Commissioners recently passed a landmark ordinance to set up a citizen group to advise our local government on Superfund issues. One major charge for the new Redevelopment Advisory Board will be to make sound decisions on how we spend funds from a special trust established through a settlement with the Atlantic Richfield Corporation.
Bear in mind that more than $400 million has already been spent on several cleanup projects in Butte. Overall, almost $2 billion will be spent on projects in the Upper Clark Fork River watershed, including hundreds of millions being set aside to operate and maintain the cleanups in perpetuity. This is good.
In addition to all that, though, the fact remains: Butte will need to deal with the residual effects of our environmental past and the remedies in place long into the future. An assurance that our community will be able to progress in spite of this reality is the “Redevelopment Trust Fund”, created solely to promote our city’s safe redevelopment and revitalization to a more prosperous future.
There will be a lot to cover in the coming months on policies, procedures, and the many, many details related to this Trust account. For now, we need to set up the Advisory Board. This is a real chance for citizens to be involved in something of great value to our community, now and into the future.
This editorial is to encourage interested Butte-Silver Bow citizens to submit an application for consideration. Service on this new board will be a time-consuming and demanding task, but again, this is a BIG opportunity for citizens to make a difference for Butte’s future generations.
Butte has done a remarkable job of leading the way nationally in how to deal with massive environmental issues. We are and will continue to be “The Mining City” for as long as the ore reserves hold. At the same time, over the past 20 years, we have established ourselves equally as “The Restoration City,” creating a significant local and regional economy in the research and implementation of our varied and innovative environmental technologies, from the cleanup, management and redevelopment of the Butte Hill and Silver Bow Creek, all the way downstream to the removal of the Milltown Dam in Bonner. Simply put our unheralded mining and smelting legacy has laid the foundation for a monumental future in environmental restoration and management.
Perhaps the most important and poignant point of Voosen’s recent article is the following question posed: How do we live with contaminated land? In Butte, that everyday question has become a rallying charge to face our challenges and find innovative solutions. I invite you to help our community continue down this path. We have plenty of work and improvements to consider and how we deal with our environmental challenges today will greatly affect our generations to come.
Please visit our website at http://co.silverbow.mt.us/ to view the ordinance in detail, or contact my office at 497-6214 for more information. To apply, please submit a letter with your qualifications and a statement of why you would like to serve to firstname.lastname@example.org or send paper applications to BSB Chief Executive ATTN: Superfund Advisory, 155 West Granite, Butte, MT 59701.
Read the Superfund citizen advisory committee ordinance:
COUNCIL BILL NO. 14-14
ORDINANCE NO. 14-14
AN ORDINANCE CREATING A NEW CHAPTER IN THE BUTTE-SILVER BOW MUNICIPAL CODE TO BE NUMBERED CHAPTER 2.94 OF THE BUTTE-SILVER BOW MUNICIPAL CODE (B-SB MC) AND ENTITLED “SUPERFUND ADVISORY AND REDEVELOPMENT TRUST AUTHORITY”; PROVIDING FOR APPOINTMENT OF AND QUALIFICATION OF MEMBERS; PROVIDING FOR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE SUPERFUND ADVISORY AND REDEVELOPMENT TRUST AUTHORITY; PROVIDING FOR A MEANS OF FINANCING THE REDEVELOPMENT TRUST FUND; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE HEREIN.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE COUNCIL OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE CITY AND COUNTY OF BUTTE-SILVER BOW, STATE OF MONTANA:
SECTION 1: New Chapter: There is hereby created a new chapter of the Butte-Silver Bow Municipal Code (B-SB MC) to be named “Superfund Advisory and Redevelopment Trust Authority” and numbered Chapter 2.94.
SECTION 2: New Section: There is hereby created a new section of the Butte-Silver Bow Municipal Code (B-SB MC) which shall read as follows:
“2.92.010 Purpose. The purpose of this chapter is to provide for an appointed Authority of citizens of the City and County of Butte-Silver Bow (City County) to a) interface with the Chief Executive and/or his/her designated employees accountable for coordinating all Superfund activities, to comply with Section 4.02 (b) 2 of the Butte-Silver Bow Municipal Charter; and b) to direct, manage and distribute Redevelopment Trust Funds in a manner that complies with the provisions set forth in the “Allocation and Settlement Agreement and Mutual Release of Claims By and Between the City and County of Butte-Silver Bow and Atlantic Richfield Company” (Agreement), subsequent Addenda to the Agreement, and this chapter.”
SECTION 3: New Section: There is hereby created a new section of the Butte-Silver Bow Municipal Code (B-SB MC) which shall read as follows:
“2.94.020 Objective. The objective of the Superfund Advisory and Redevelopment Trust Authority (the Authority) is to advise the local government in the long-term improvement, redevelopment/re-use, cleanup, treatment, management, monitoring and/or maintenance of remediated and unremediated Superfund and/or other environmentally impacted properties/sites within the entirety of the City and County of Butte-Silver Bow; and, pursuant to the Allocation Agreement, (located as part of the permanent file records in BSB’s Clerk and Recorder’s office), to plan, engage and promote redevelopment and/or re-use of land/properties (both remediated and unremediated) within the Butte Priority Soils Operable Unit (BPSOU) that are affected from past mining impacts. In compliance with the Allocation Agreement, funds from the Redevelopment Trust shall be directed to infrastructure projects, maintenance and protection programs, and general economic development activities that serve the community interest and general public welfare.
In the event that the city-county receives or accrues other sources of monies, properties, interests from Superfund/other environmental settlements, agreements, orders, decrees, grants, contracts or other, not in conjunction or in relationship with the Redevelopment Trust Funds outlined in the Agreement and not explicitly directed, allocated, awarded or ordered to a specific action, project, requirement or obligation, the Authority may advise the Chief Executive and/or his/her designated employees and/or agents on decisions pertaining to such, funds.”
New Section: There is hereby created a new section of the Butte-Silver Bow Municipal Code (B-SB MC) which shall read as follows:
SECTION 4: “2.94.030 Scope. The Authority shall have the obligation to establish Operating Procedures/By-Laws that allow for providing review, advice, recommendations, comments, and other considerations/input to the Chief Executive and/or his/her designated employees in regards to Superfund and/or other environmental issues, decisions in accordance with Section 4.02 (b) 2 of the Butte-Silver Bow Municipal Charter; and for approving, rejecting, evaluating expenditure requests conforming to the use of redevelopment trust funds to accomplish the objectives of this chapter.”
SECTION 5: New Section: There is hereby created a new section of the Butte-Silver Bow Municipal Code (B-SB MC) which shall read as follows:
“2.94.040 Definitions. The following definitions are provided for the sole purpose of proper interpretation and administration of this Ordinance:
A. Allocation Agreement shall mean the Allocation and Settlement Agreement and Mutual Release of Claims By and Between the City and County of Butte-Silver and Atlantic Richfield Company, and all signed and executed Addenda.
B. AR shall mean Atlantic Richfield Company, a Delaware corporation, together with all of its predecessors, successors (merged, acquired or otherwise), subsidiaries and assigns, including, but not limited to, AERL.
C. BPSOU shall mean the area depicted on the map attached as Exhibit “1” hereto as the “Butte Priority Soils Operable Unit” and any area added thereto by EPA.
D. BSB shall mean the local government of the City and County of Butte-Silver Bow, Montana, and any successors thereto, including all officers, employees, agents, representatives, boards, departments, Advisory Boards, programs and authorities thereof.
E. EPA shall mean the United States Environmental Protection Agency and any successor agency thereto.
F. MDEQ shall mean the State of Montana Department of Environmental Quality and any successor agency thereto.
G. NRDP shall mean the State of Montana-Department of Justice Natural Resource Damage Program and any successor agency thereto.
H. Redevelopment Accounting Report shall mean an Accounting report, in a form acceptable to BSB and AR, of all amounts withdrawn by BSB from the Redevelopment Trust Account during the prior Fiscal Year.
I. Redevelopment Trust Account shall mean a segregated and separate Account of BSB, with a financial institution acceptable to BSB and AR that is established pursuant to the Agreement.”
SECTION 6: New Section: There is hereby created a new section of the Butte-Silver Bow Municipal Code (B-SB MC) which shall read as follows:
“2.94.050 Authority Established. In order to carry out the purpose of this chapter, and in compliance with the provisions of the Agreement, a Superfund Advisory and Redevelopment Trust Authority is created. This Authority shall consist of seven voting members and four ex-officio members, all residents of the City-County, as follows:
A. A member shall have professional expertise in the discipline of Land Use, nominated by the BSB Planning Board and confirmed by the BSB Council of Commissioners;
B. A member shall have professional expertise in the discipline of Medicine or Health Science, nominated by the BSB Health Board and confirmed by the BSB Council of Commissioners;
C. A member shall have professional expertise in the discipline of Cultural Heritage or Historic Preservation, nominated by the BSB Historic Preservation Commission and confirmed by the BSB Council of Commissioners;
D. The remaining four members shall be At-Large from the community, nominated by the Chief Executive and confirmed by the BSB Council of Commissioners. To the extent practicable, these at-large members should have demonstrated knowledge or professional experience or training in one or more of the following disciplines, including but not limited to finance, investment or accounting; sciences (physical, biological) or engineering; parks and recreation; education; local business management/ownership.
E. Four Ex-Officio members, including the BSB Chief Executive, the BSB County Attorney, a member of the BSB Council of Commissioners, and a representative of AR, should AR choose to exercise this right.”
SECTION 7: New Section: There is hereby created a new section of the Butte-Silver Bow Municipal Code (B-SB MC) which shall read as follows:
“2.94.060 Appointment – Terms - Vacancy.
A. Terms of office for Authority members shall be staggered and shall be three years in duration. For the initial term, upon enactment of this ordinance, two members shall be appointed for one year, three members shall be appointed for two years and two members shall be appointed for three years. The number of consecutive terms served by any one member will determined by the Authority upon adoption of its By-Laws.
B. Vacancies on the Authority shall be filed within sixty days by appointment by the Chief Executive and are subject to the confirmation of the Council of Commissioners for the unexpired portion of the term.”
SECTION 8: New Section: There is hereby created a new section of the Butte-Silver Bow Municipal Code (B-SB MC) which shall read as follows:
”2.94.070 Powers and Duties.
A. The Authority shall advise the Chief Executive and/or his/her designated employees on Superfund and environmental issues; and review, consider, approve or deny funding requests and allocate resources for projects proposed by the City-County or other entities for the purposes set forth in the Agreement and in this chapter.
B. Develop by-laws to govern its operating procedures and facilitate the implementation of this chapter.
C. Encourage public education and participation in Superfund and/or other environmental issues and cooperate with local, state, federal and other agencies, boards, committees, entities and parties, including but not limited to BSB, MDEQ, NRDP, EPA, AR in these regards.
D. The Authority shall provide and submit an annual report to the Chief Executive, the Council of Commissioners, and AR, to include major activity, projects and a Redevelopment Trust Accounting Report no later than September 15 (fifteenth) of each year;
E. Shall keep, or cause to be kept, proper minutes of meetings and books of record and expenditures segregated from all other records and accounts of the City-County, in which complete and correct entries shall be made of all transactions relating to the Redevelopment Trust.
F. Undertake any actions necessary to assure compliance with the terms of the Agreement for any expenditures of the Trust.”
Section 10: New Section: There is hereby created a new section of the Butte-Silver Bow Municipal Code (B-SB MC) which shall read as follows:
“2.94.090 Method of Financing. The Superfund Advisory and Redevelopment Trust Authority is authorized to allocate those funds deposited into the Redevelopment Trust Account, together with accrued interest and income earned thereon to Butte-Silver Bow for the purpose of fulfilling the objectives outlined in this chapter. Funds shall be accounted for in the same manner provided for other Butte-Silver Bow offices and departments.”
SECTION 11: New Section: There is hereby created a new section of the Butte-Silver Bow Municipal Code (B-SB MC) which shall read as follows:
A. The Superfund Advisory and Redevelopment Trust Authority shall conduct a minimum of one regularly scheduled meeting each month to carry out the provisions of this chapter, except that the chairperson, with the consent of the Chief Executive, may cancel any meeting if there are no matters to be considered.
B. Special meetings of the Authority may be called by the chairperson, the Chief Executive or by four members of the Authority when such meetings are necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter.
C. All meetings shall be held in public and in accordance with the Montana State Open Meeting law. All written or taped minutes, reports and Authority decisions shall be available to the public.”
SECTION 12: New Section: There is hereby created a new section of the Butte-Silver Bow Municipal Code (B-SB MC) which shall read as follows:
“2.94.110 Severability Clause. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or word of this Ordinance is, for any reason, held to be invalid or unconstitutional, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this chapter, and the remainder of the chapter will remain in force and effect.”
SECTION 13: Effective Date: This Ordinance shall be in full force and effect from and after thirty (30) days after passage and approval.
PASSED this _____ day of _____________, 2014.
CHAIRMAN OF THE COUNCIL OF COMMISSIONERS
APPROVED this _____ day of ___________, 2014.
MATTHEW S. VINCENT
CLERK AND RECORDER
APPROVED AS TO FORM:
WILLIAM O. ANDERSEN
CHAIRMAN, JUDICIARY COMMITTEE