Online meeting to discuss ASARCO site in East Helena | Local

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The US Environmental Protection Agency and the Montana Environmental Trust Group will hold a virtual public meeting on Wednesday to update the community on the progress of the cleanup and redevelopment of the former ASARCO smelter in East Helena.

The 7 p.m. meeting will provide updates and leave time for questions on groundwater quality improvement, water infrastructure projects, remediation and restoration of areas along Prickly Pear Creek, the East Helena Slag Disposal Project and real estate development activities.

Due to COVID-19, the meeting will be held virtually on Zoom and by phone.

Or join by phone at 646-876-9923. Enter Meeting ID 816 5567 5621 # and Password 781655 #.

The Montana Environmental Trust Group is a trustee of the Montana Environmental Custodial Trust.

The trust was created as part of the ASARCO bankruptcy settlement and is responsible for the safe reuse of the former ASARCO smelter and surrounding lands of East Helena under the supervision of the EPA.

More than a century of lead smelting has contaminated the soils and groundwater of the former ASARCO smelter in East Helena, posing a threat to people, migrating birds and others.

The East Helena site includes a lead smelter that operated from 1888 to 2001. The METG reports on its website that the slag heap occupies almost half of the ASARCO smelter property. At its peak, the smelter processed 70,000 tonnes of lead ingots per year and supported thousands of people. However, it also produced tons of contaminants. In 1984, the EPA declared East Helena a Superfund cleanup site.


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