CFRTAC is a volunteer citizens' organization whose mission is to help residents make informed choices and participate in the Superfund remediation, restoration and redevelopment of the Clark Fork River and its affected communities from Butte to Missoula. As the EPA-designated technical advisory group, CFRTAC has been involved in the Clark Fork River watershed for more than 15 years.
CFRTAC serves as a public representative in the Milltown Design Review Team for the site's remediation and restoration. It participates in and provides technical assistance to the Milltown Superfund Redevelopment Working Group. Upriver, CFRTAC has an established presence in the Deer Lodge Valley and works on technical review, assistance and outreach with local residents and agencies on the river cleanup.
CFRTAC's review, science and public information efforts are funded by the Technical Assistance Grant program. This program was created by the federal government in 1986 to help promote public involvement in the Superfund process at the local level. Through this program, CFRTAC is allowed to apply for grants. Grants are funded through the EPA by the party responsible for the site (in this instance, Arco).
Our specific charge from the EPA is to hire independent scientific experts to review documents on behalf of the local community. Once that portion of our role has been completed, we are to inform the public by making available government studies, Arco studies, and our own independent studies about contaminants in the river and their various impacts, and to promote public involvement in the Superfund process. We are also to inform local citizens about cleanup activities, meetings and how to contact those involved in the work.
CFRTAC operates independent from Arco or the EPA. We are an independent group of citizens working on behalf of local residents, ensuring the communities most affected by the EPA's decisions have access to objective information. Our mission is to present that information so that basin residents can reach informed opinions and make those opinions known. In addition, CFRTAC can question or criticize the methods, findings and conclusions of Arco and/or the EPA.