2009 Settlement – East Helena

What’s New

East Helena ASARCO Smelter Restoration Plan Released & Public Comment Period Announced

The State of Montana Natural Resource Damage Program (NRDP) has prepared a draft restoration plan and environmental checklist to address injuries to natural resources from the ASARCO East Helena Smelter.  The NRDP is seeking public comments on the draft restoration plan and environmental checklist for the allocation of approximately $5.9 million in funding.

The draft restoration plan and environmental checklist is available at: https://dojmt.gov/lands/notices-of-public-comment/

Also, please join the NRDP at a public meeting on Tuesday, January 29, at the City of East Helena Fireman’s Hall, 2 E. Pacific Street at 6:00 PM to hear more about the draft restoration plan and environmental checklist. NRDP will present the plan to the public and accept comments from the community.

Written comments are due on Monday, February 11, 2019 by 5:00 PM and should be sent via email to [email protected] with “East Helena Restoration Plan” in the subject line, or via U.S. Mail to the Montana Natural Resource Damage Program, 1720 9th Ave., P.O. Box 201425, Helena, MT 59620-1425, (406) 444-0205, Attn:  East Helena Restoration Plan Comments. For more information please contact Alicia Stickney, [email protected], (406)444-1346.


Under the terms of the settlement (involving among others,  EPA and the State of Montana) was approved in December 2009 by the Court in the ASARCO bankruptcy case, as part of the plan of reorganization,  ASARCO paid the following amounts:

  • $100 million into a custodial trust to clean up and restore the smelter site and other lands in the East Helena area that had been owned by ASARCO.  The majority of this money was intended for use to clean-up and restore the groundwater under the smelter site and the city of East Helena.  In the event that there is money left in this trust after the East Helena cleanup is completed, that money may be used at the East Helena and other former ASARCO-owned sites in Montana for natural resource restoration.
  •  $15.2 million to EPA for the cleanup of yards and other lands in East Helena that are not owned by ASARCO.
  •  $5.9 million to the State to settle its compensatory NRD claims,  plus the conveyance to the State of 232 acres of ASARCO-owned land in the East Helena area to be used for wildlife habitat restoration, recreation and open space.  This money is to be used for restoration or replacement of injured or lost natural resources associated with the East Helena smelter site.

For additional information see http://www.mtenvironmentaltrust.org/east-Helena.