IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Community Invited to Hear Cleanup and Redevelopment Updates at EPA and METG Public Meeting about Former ASARCO East Helena Smelter Site Nov. 15

PHOTOS: Visit  East Helena Site Photos and Map 11-2023 to download a map of METG land sales in East Helena, and photos of the slag pile, restored wetlands and floodplain along Prickly Pear Creek, and redevelopment of former ASARCO lands.

INTERVIEWS: METG Managing Principal Cindy Brooks is available for phone interviews on Mon., Nov. 13 (12 noon–5 p.m. MT) and Tues., Nov. 14 (after 2 p.m. MT); and for in-person interviews at the former Smelter Site (METG modular office, 324 Manlove Avenue) on Wed., Nov. 15, 1–4 p.m. MT. For scheduling assistance, contact Christine Amrhine, 540-846-3163,

A map of METG’s East Helena land sales as of November 2023

EAST HELENA, MT (November 10, 2023) – The Montana Environmental Trust Group, Trustee of the Montana Environmental Custodial Trust, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold a public meeting to share updates about the cleanup status and redevelopment progress at the former ASARCO East Helena Smelter Site on Wednesday, November 15.

WHEN: Wednesday, November 15, 2023 – 6 p.m.
WHERE: METG Office, 324 Manlove Avenue, East Helena

The community will have the opportunity to hear updates and ask questions about various topics such as:

  • Site cleanup: METG will provide an update on groundwater quality improvements. Also, the removal of up to 2 million tons of unfumed slag from the 16-million-ton slag pile and its shipment for recycling to South Korea continued in 2023. See Rail cars and slag pile and Slag pile. Restoration of wetlands and floodplain along Prickly Pear Creek was finished in 2023, marking completion of one of the last cleanup actions at the Site. See Prickly Pear Creek restored wetlands and floodplain.
  • Redevelopment: In 2023, METG sold ±900 acres of former ASARCO lands to 4 purchasers for future uses that include an office building, a light-manufacturing center, a warehouse, hundreds of single- and multi-family homes, shopping areas, and parks. In all, ±1,663 former ASARCO acres have been sold or donated by METG (see East Helena land sales map 11-9-2023) for such projects as East Helena High School (see EH High School and EH High School), Prickly Pear Elementary School (see Prickly Pear Elementary School and Prickly Pear Elementary School), the Town Pump mixed-use development (see Town Pump), the Highland Meadows residential subdivision (see Highland Meadows residential subdivision), expanded manufacturing, and the 322-acre Prickly Pear Creek Greenway. METG’s project partners, including Prickly Pear Land Trust, Habitat for Humanity, and Oakland Companies, will share redevelopment progress and plans at the meeting.

Other meeting topics will include: EPA’s residential yard cleanup activities, and Lewis & Clark Public Health’s Lead Education and Assistance Program (LEAP).

The public meeting will start with a presentation, and a question-and-answer period will follow. Light refreshments will be provided.




More than a century of lead smelting extensively contaminated soil and groundwater at the former ASARCO Smelter Site in East Helena (Site). Soils contaminated with lead, arsenic and other metals posed a threat to people, migratory birds and other organisms that could come into contact with the soil. Precipitation leached through contaminated soils, releasing contaminants into groundwater and stormwater runoff. Surface waters from Prickly Pear Creek and two manmade lakes raised groundwater levels under the former plant and slag pile, driving groundwater through impacted soils and adding contaminants to groundwater that resulted in plumes of arsenic and selenium migrating off-site.


In 2009, the Montana Environmental Custodial Trust was created as part of the ASARCO bankruptcy settlement, and the Montana Environmental Trust Group, LLC (METG) was appointed Trustee. METG is responsible for remediating the former ASARCO Smelter Site and surrounding East Helena lands and facilitating safe reuse, under U.S. EPA oversight and for the benefit of the United States and State of Montana. METG has been managing remedial actions that have included construction of a 62-acre sustainable cover system—the nation’s largest of its type—and excavating tons of contaminated material, and relocating Prickly Pear Creek. Greenfield Environmental Trust Group, Inc. is the parent company of METG.

Media Contact: Christine Amrhine, Montana Environmental Trust Group, LLC (METG), 540-846-3163,