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East Helena Lead Removal

Site Contact:
Joe Payne
On-Scene Coordinator


Site Location:
46.595038, -111.914502
East Helena, MT 59635

East Helena Lead Superfund Site is an EPA Remedial site addressing the contamination from a historic smelter that operated for over 100 years (1888 to 2001). The lead and zinc smelter operated on the southern edge of town. The operation led to the deposition of heavy metal contamination throughout East Helena. A Superfund Site Investigation (SSI) was completed in 1981 and the site was listed on the National Priority List (NPL) in 1984. EPA’s Remedial team has completed multiple phases of remediation work, including groundwater clean up and some residential yard clean ups. Currently the main problem area is lead contaminated soils with exposure pathways to sensitive demographics.

In a sampling event completed by EPA's Remedial team in 2023, several unaddressed properties were found with high concern of exposure. These homes are occupied by highly sensitive demographics (children and women of children bearing ages) and have high concentrations of lead in their yards. In some cases, the children at these properties have shown elevated blood lead levels. EPA’s Remedial Team asked that the Removal team address these prioritized properties in 2024 ahead of Remedial's planned actions in 2025. The properties include six residential yards and one school playground.

EPA's Removal team plans to excavate contaminated soils from these properties and back fill in clean soils during the summer of 2024. The Remedial team will continue their work on the site addressing soil contamination in 2025.

On June 3, 2024 the Removal team began work addressing the lead contamination. Please see the "Notices" section of this website for periodic updates.

For more information on the East Helena Lead Superfund Site, please see the EPA Remedial website here: https://cumulis.epa.gov/supercpad/SiteProfiles/index.cfm?fuseaction=second.ous&id=0800377 

If you have concerns related to lead and lead exposure, please reference EPA's lead website here: https://www.epa.gov/lead/learn-about-lead#:~:text=Adults%20exposed%20to%20lead%20can,in%20both%20men%20and%20women

For additional information, visit the Notices section.