Gianforte Voted to Gut EPA While “Lack of Staffing” Led to Potential Contamination to Butte Residents
Helena – A stunning independent watchdog report released last week has found,according to the Montana Standard, that "lack of staffing to handle the workload [at the Superfund site in] Butte has led to an entire area where residents live potentially at risk for human health.” The report comes just weeks after Congressman Greg Gianforte voted tocut funding for the EPA by $500 million, a vote he has yet to explain publicly.
Back in August, Congressman Gianforte toured the Montana Resources office in Butte, telling reporters “we need to make sure we have funding to clean up the Superfund here in Montana.”
But, in his first week back to Congress in September, Congressman Gianforte voted againstrestoring $12 million to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund enforcement program from the Bureau of Land Management’s Oil and Gas program. He then voted for the full Omnibus spending bill, which cut more than $500 million from the EPA and would force the agency to operate on less than 75 percent of its 2010 budget.
The Inspector General report found that there is “insufficient data to determine whether human exposure is under control,” so it is unknown if residents in some areas of Butte are being exposed to toxic heavy metals.
And yet, even in the wake of this new report, Montanans are still waiting for Gianforte to explain his vote to gut the EPA.