Superfund Site: EAST HELENA SITE

Superfund Site Profile

In the last five years, more than 100 years of contamination from Asarco operations have been addressed. As a result, contaminant concentrations in groundwater have dropped, stormwater is either captured or runs clean off of a massive protective cover, and Prickly Pear Creek flows through a restored, natural channel.


The East Helena site is located in East Helena, in Lewis and Clark County, Montana. The site includes a lead smelter that operated from 1888 until 2001, the town of East Helena, several residential subdivisions and surrounding rural agricultural lands. For more than 100 years, lead and zinc smelting operations deposited heavy metals, arsenic and other hazardous chemicals into the soil, surface water and groundwater of the Helena Valley. The sources of this contamination included the smelter stack, fugitive emissions from plant operations, process ponds and direct surface water discharges. Historically, the mode of transport for the contaminants was air and surface water. Cleanup at the site is ongoing.