The city of East Helena, six miles east of Helena, dates back to 1888 when a large lead smelter was built on the banks of Prickly Pear creek in the Helena Valley. East Helena grew up around that enterprise. For over a century, the smelter processed 70,000 tons of lead bullion a year, and provided a livelihood for thousands of families. It also produced tons of contaminants. In 1984, the EPA declared East Helena a Superfund Cleanup Site.
The following pages provide more information on the site operations, regulatory history, site conditions, and current status. Information will continue to be added to this website as it becomes available.
METG’s environmental cleanup actions in East Helena focus on soil and groundwater contamination caused by more than a century of smelting lead, zinc, and other metals at the former ASARCO facility.
Learn more about site operations and conditions, regulatory history, and redevelopment plans.