Toxic: The Mess at Smurfit-Stone

Toxic: The Mess at Smurfit-Stone

December 15th, 2009 Smurfit Stone Container Corporation announces the permanent closure of the expansive line-board plant just West of Missoula. 417 workers were told they had two weeks before they had to find a new job. For an explanation as to why, Smurfit President Steve Klinger writes in a brief statement that mills were “high-cost facilities that do not provide adequate returns over the long term for the company.” The immediate economic impacts of Frenchtown and Missoula are enormous. At the time, Smurfit-Stone was the second-largest taxpayer in Missoula County, second only to NorthWestern Energy. January 14th, 2010 Smurfit-Stone’s Environmental Affairs Office states: “The company plans to remove all hazardous materials from the mill site.” On the last shift of the last day, the engines stopped, the gates closed and the parking lots emptied out. More than a decade later, after Smurfit-Stone dropped a mess in the heart of Missoula County, An industrial graveyard filled with sludge ponds, discarded heavy equipment and toxic metals sit dangerously close to our beloved Clark Fork River. Empty clean-up promises by shell companies inheriting Smurfit’s liabilities have done nothing to remove the hazardous waste pools that today sit seeping toxins into groundwater. Inaction by the state legislature, the EPA, and ownership will not be tolerated any longer. In collaboration with The Clark Fork Coalition and Pintler Group podcasts, Welcome to “Toxic: The Mess at Smurfit-Stone” . Follow along as we explore what’s beyond the “No Trespassing Signs” surrounding the 900 acre Smurfit complex. What’s the plan, and what can we as Missoulians do?

Episodes

October 27, 2020 28 min
Welcome back to Toxic, the Mess at Smurfit Stone. In this episode, we talk with our team of experts about superfund, sludge ponds, and solutions. While Superfund can be complicated and mired in bureaucracy, it can get done. In fact, it’s been done! Hear the story of the Milltown Dam. What does the Smurfit Mill Site and a giant ice-dam have to do with eachother? Find out on this, our final episode of Toxic, The Mess at Smurfit Stone...
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In episode one we explored the history of the Smurfit-Stone mill site on the banks for the Clark Fork River right here hin Missoula, Montana. In episode two, we talk with scientists, lawyers and local elected officials about the science and the laws. You'll hear how in a Davis vs. Goliath situation, being on the side that is smaller, hungrier and scrappier can be a tremendous advantage. Listen in, share with your friends and do...
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December 15, 2009: Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation announces the permanent closure of the expansive line-board plant just west of Missoula. 417 workers were told they had two weeks before they had to find a new job. For an explanation as to why, Smurfit President Steve Klinger writes in a brief statement that mills were “high-cost facilities that do not provide adequate returns over the long term for the company.” The immediat...
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