02 May 2008

Opportunity for Justice: Citizens File Lawsuit Against Arco-British Petroleum

George Niland, of the Opportunity Citizens Protective Association, sent me a message about the citizens lawsuit against Arco-British Petroleum. Here is a paraphrase of that message:

A lawsuit has been filed with Butte District court by the law firm of Lewis, Slovack and Kovacich against Atlantic Richfield Company. 90 Residents of Opportunity are involved in the lawsuit. The lawsuit is for an human health cleanup of Opportunity. The arsenic action level of 250ppm set by the Environmental Protection Agency is too high and the law firm aims to make ARCO clean it up regardless of the action level.

Opportunity continues to be plagued by dust storms from the Arco-British Petroleum waste repository. Everyone is getting sick of it. In the future when there is vegetation on the barren ground, the dust will diminish but in the meantime, Opportunity must endures these horrible storms and there is nothing residents can do about it.

Arco-British Petroleum claims to be making efforts to halt the dust storms, but there seem to be no results. There have been 2 real bad dust storms at night in the last several weeks and seems as if they are doing the dusty work at night. A resident of Opportunity that is on oxygen says he is planning on trying to sell his home and get away from here because of the dust problems.

The old Anaconda Company tried growing vegetation for years in its waste repository and it would grow for a while but die out in a matter of a couple of years. They planted several types of trees and bushes, along with different types of grass, but everything eventually died out. The same thing is likely to happen to the vegetation that ARCO-British Petroleum is planting.

When Arco-British Petroleum pull out of here, they will abandon maintenance, the vegetation will die off, and Opportunity will once again be cursed with severe dust storms.

For more information, see the newspaper article in the Montana Standard (18 April 2008).

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