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Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of the Fort Hall Reservation of Idaho

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Since the mid-1990s, the tribes argued the Environmental Protection Agency's work evaluating historic contamination from operations at FMC - now Astaris - and the J.R. Simplot Co.- the Eastern Michaud Flats Superfund site -was incomplete. "Finally, years later, they're going to re-evaluate some of these issues we brought up," Susan Hanson, who handles Superfund issues for the tribes, said. The EPA recently announced plans to revisit Superfund law as it applies to Eastern Michaud Flats and may reopen the record of decision spelling out cleanup requirements for the site. The decision comes a year after a proposed decree detailing plans to cleanup the contamination was made public in July of last year. The tribes aired their concerns during the subsequent 30-day public comment period, and the EPA has spent about 11 months deciding how to respond. FMC and Simplot both greeted the EPA's decision by filing court documents asking to go forward with plans for cleanup. First tests at Michaud Flats in 1996, showed, "They scored so high in ground water contamination, they didn't go forward and try to score the air and surface soils," Hanson said. EPA officials will enter discussions with the Shoshone-Bannock tribes within the year to establish timelines for further investigations.