2009 Settlement – East Helena

What’s New

The State of Montana Natural Resource Damage Program (NRDP) is preparing a restoration plan for the natural resources that were injured by the ASARCO East Helena Smelter.  The NRDP is seeking public input from interested individuals and entities on the preparation of the restoration plan for the allocation of approximately $5.9 million, by soliciting proposals for restoration projects that will address the injury to the natural resources.

At the same time, NRDP is scoping the issues that may be associated with implementation of any proposed restoration projects.  NRDP is engaging in this scoping process to ensure that all impacts on the human environment associated with the restoration plan are identified. The scoping document summarizes the purpose and scope of the restoration plan, identifies preliminary project ideas, and describes how the public can participate in the preparation of the plan. The scoping document can be found here: East Helena Scoping Document.

The 30-day public comment and submittal period starts May 31, 2018 with project proposals and comments due June 30, 2018 at 5:00 PM.

Also, please join the NRDP at a public meeting on Wednesday, June 13 at the City of East Helena Fireman’s Hall, 2 E. Pacific Street at 6:00 PM to hear more about the restoration plan.

If you would like more information or are interested in the restoration plan, please contact the Montana Natural Resource Damage Program, 1720 9th Ave., P.O. Box 201425, Helena, MT 59620-1425, (406) 444-0205, E-mail: [email protected]


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.