By Jacob Fuhrer, Excerpt from KTVH Helena
EAST HELENA — The Environmental Protection Agency honored stakeholders in the East Helena smelter cleanup with an award on Thursday.
EPA Region 8 Administrator Greg Sopkin presented the Montana Environmental Trust Group with the Excellence in Site Reuse Award for their efforts to promote redevelopment in East Helena.
The award is given to groups to “recognize significant achievement in protection of public health or the environment, or in advancing the Agency’s strategic goals.”
According to the EPA , since clean-up efforts began at the site of the former lead smelter, contamination in groundwater has been reduced, stormwater cleanly runs off of a massive protective cover and Prickly Pear Creek flows through a restored channel.
Thursday’s ceremony took place at the newly-constructed Prickly Pear Elementary School, a project that leaders say was made possible because of those cleanup efforts.
METG Managing Principal Cindy Brooks said she was honored to receive the award and that the EPA has been a big champion of the project from the beginning.