Columbia Falls Aluminum Co.

A worker is seen at the Columbia Falls Aluminum Co. plant in 1995.

Missoulian

KALISPELL (AP) – Officials say the Environmental Protection Agency will put off a decision on whether to approve Superfund cleanup of the shuttered Columbia Falls Aluminum Company plant.

Regional project manager for the EPA, Mike Cirian, had recently told community members that a decision could come as early as March. But Cirian told the Flathead Beacon on Tuesday that agency officials informed him that a decision won't come until this fall.

The aluminum plant closed last year and was determined eligible for long-term remedial cleanup under the federal Superfund program.

The community has been awaiting the EPA's decision on a potential Superfund listing, as the 960-acre industrial site has been out of operation since 2009.

Tests at the property owned by Glencore have detected contaminants and metals.

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