Header Image

East Helena

2009 Settlement – East Helena

What’s New

Governor Steve Bullock signs the East Helena ASARCO Smelter Final Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment Checklist at event near Prickly Pear Creek in East Helena on November 4, 2019.

On November 4, 2019, Governor Steve Bullock approved the East Helena ASARCO Smelter Final Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment Checklist. The plan funds $2,217,000.00 in groundwater restoration, $160,000.00 in surface water restoration, and $3,200,000.00 in recreation restoration. Groundwater restoration will include priority projects from the City of East Helena water master plan; surface water projects will include a Prickly Pear Creek re-watering project and planting of larger cottonwoods on the Prickly Pear Creek realigned channel; and recreation projects will include funding for a Greenway Trail system along Prickly Pear Creek and through the City of East Helena.


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.