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2009 Settlement – East Helena

What’s New

In Winter 2019, the State of Montana Natural Resource Damage Program (NRDP) prepared a draft restoration plan for the allocation of approximately $5.9 million in funding to address injuries to natural resources from the ASARCO East Helena Smelter. The public comment period closed on February 11, 2019. The draft restoration plan is available at: https://dojmt.gov/lands/notices-of-public-comment/

The NRDP is now inventorying the comments on the draft East Helena Restoration Plan and is starting to prepare responses to comments. When this process is completed the restoration plan will be finalized. For more information please contact Alicia Stickney, [email protected], (406) 444-1346.

Background

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.

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