East Helena, MT (September 2019) – The Montana Environmental Trust Group, LLC, as trustee of the Montana Environmental Custodial Trust, and its contractor Pioneer Technical Services, Inc. received a 2019 Merit Award from the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) for the Prickly Pear Creek realignment project in East Helena, Montana.
The Montana Environmental Trust Group (METG) teamed with Pioneer Technical Services to relocate more than a mile of Prickly Pear Creek in order to reduce groundwater contamination and potential contaminant migration. The Prickly Pear Creek realignment was one of only four projects in the United States to receive a FIDIC award in 2019. The awards were presented at a September 9, 2019 gala dinner during the FIDIC International Infrastructure Conference in Mexico City, Mexico.
The FIDIC awards support the organization’s goals of promoting the use of international FIDIC best practices and resources. The awards celebrate projects that foster principles of quality, integrity and sustainability and contribute to quality of life in communities.
“The Prickly Pear Creek realignment project is a cornerstone of our remediation and restoration work in East Helena, and we are honored for the project to receive this international recognition from FIDIC,” said Cindy Brooks, managing principal of METG and president of its parent company, Greenfield Environmental Trust Group, Inc.
The Prickly Pear Creek realignment has made immediate and lasting contributions to the cleanup and the East Helena community revitalization. The project protects human health and the environment by permanently reducing groundwater contamination and isolating an eroding 16-million-ton slag pile without need for future pumping or maintenance. By relocating the creek and establishing a natural-functioning stream, the project has created 50 acres of new wetlands, enhanced habitat for fish and wildlife, and 100 acres of new floodplain to mitigate downstream flooding.
METG is the court-appointed trustee of the Montana Environmental Custodial Trust, which was established in 2009 as part of the ASARCO bankruptcy settlement. METG is responsible for owning, remediating and redeveloping thousands of acres once owned by ASARCO. For more than nine years, METG has worked to address soil, sediment and groundwater contamination left by more than a century of lead smelting.
Pioneer Technical Services is an engineering and environmental services company headquartered in Butte, MT, with offices throughout the Intermountain West.
The project realigned a 1.25-mile stretch of stream away from contamination and was completed in four main phases of work. First, a bypass channel was created to temporarily divert the creek flow. The next phase included drainage and excavation of the creek, followed by reconstruction of the new creek bed and building an earth berm to stabilize the nearby eroding slag pile. Prickly Pear Creek flow was then diverted to the new creek bed. Lastly, the wetlands were reconstructed and the bypass channel was reclaimed.
The project won a 2019 national Grand Award in Engineering Excellence in the environmental category from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC). The national award made the Prickly Pear Creek realignment project eligible to compete in the 2019 FIDIC International competition. Learn more about the ACEC award here.
About the Montana Environmental Trust Group
The Montana Environmental Trust Group, LLC (METG) is trustee of the Montana Environmental Custodial Trust (the Custodial Trust), which was established in 2009 as part of the global settlement of the ASARCO bankruptcy.
METG, as trustee of the Custodial Trust, has responsibility for owning, administering and remediating two federal and two state hazardous waste sites in Montana: the 2,000-acre East Helena Superfund Site as well as hundreds of mine-scarred acres at the Upper Blackfoot Mining Complex/Mike Horse Mine, the Black Pine Mine and the Iron Mountain/Flat Creek mining area. The Custodial Trust received $138 million to remediate and facilitate reuse of the four sites. The Custodial Trust has been managing remedial actions that have included construction of a sustainable cover system—the largest of its type in the country—and excavation of tons of contaminated material, as well as relocation of Prickly Pear Creek.
The Custodial Trust’s primary role is to protect human health and the environment in partnership with its beneficiaries—the United States, acting through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the State of Montana, acting through the Montana Department of Environmental Quality —and with community stakeholders.
Greenfield Environmental Trust Group, Inc. is the parent company of METG.
Media Contact: Christine Amrhine, Montana Environmental Trust Group, LLC (METG), trustee of the Montana Environmental Custodial Trust (Custodial Trust), 540-846-3163, firstname.lastname@example.org