This smokestack, left over from a century of copper mining, spewed up to 24 tons of arsenic per day over an area the size of New York City. Close to 100 rural Montanans are taking on one of the largest corporations in the world Tuesday before the U.S. Supreme Court. Residents of Opportunity and Crackerville, Mont., say the Atlantic Richfield Co. — owned by BP — needs to go beyond what federal Superfund law requires and clean up arsenic pollution left over from a century of mining. Fewer than 500 people live here. The area’s surrounded by rolling hills and jagged peaks, along with the valley’s defining feature: a massive gray smokestack from a historic copper smelter, perched on a tongue of land protruding from the mountains outside of town. Shaun Hoolahan is driving the gravel roads of Opportunity, pointing out landmarks such as the house he grew up in. "It’s 585 feet high. You can put the Washington Monument inside of it, it’s that big," he says. For almost a century, that smokestack spit out up to 24 tons of arsenic per day over a chunk of land the size of New York City. The area became a […]

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