DEQ Press Releases

Driscoll, Paul

DEQ closes CFAC/Calbag Consent Order for hazardous waste

Helena -- The Montana Department of Environmental Quality has notified the Columbia Falls Aluminum Company and Calbag Resources, LLC, that the Consent Order signed in 2015 to address hazardous waste located in the Pot Room Building (Building 1) has been satisfied.


The Plan covered the removal and disposal of 451 pot liners and other regulated hazardous waste. This is separate from the ongoing Superfund work being conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency in consultation with DEQ and does not relieve the owners/operators of the facility of any liability associated with violations not addressed by the Consent Order.


DEQ received the final closure report from Calbag’s consultant, Tetra Tech, that included closure certifications, annual hazardous waste registration and maintenance fee reports for 2017 and 2018, payment receipts and a total project summary log of wastes disposed and recycled materials


Approximately 415,881,518 pounds of waste has been removed, including solid waste, asbestos, hazardous waste, universal waste and reused and recycled waste.


“We are happy to have reached this milestone in the cleanup of the Columbia Falls Aluminum Company,” said DEQ Waste Management and Remediation Administrator Jenny Chambers. “While there is still work to do, DEQ is committed to making sure all aspects of the cleanup are done right to protect human health and the environment.”  


The AOC was signed in June 2015, between DEQ, CFAC and Calbag after CFAC determined they would not be able to meet the conditions of a permit for storage of hazardous waste.


Along with the AOC for hazardous waste removal, DEQ oversees the asbestos, waste water and opencut mining permits. The EPA, with consultation from DEQ, is the lead agency for environmental assessment and cleanup of the facility and has signed a separate AOC with Glencore and CFAC to conduct a Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study.


For more information on the Columbia Falls Aluminum Company site, visit the DEQ website at:

Previous Article Madison River tributaries water quality improvement plan available for comment
Next Article DEQ and BLM release Final Environmental Assessment for mine amendment