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Prickly Pear Creek

Lead from ASARCO’s (American Smelter & Refining Co.) smokestacks has been settling down on the town of East Helena and Prickly Pear Creek for years.

Lead-contaminated soils from house yards have been excavated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and replaced with uncontaminated soils. Now recontamination of remediated yards are wasting earlier efforts at reclamation and EPA is now asking that East Helena, Lewis & Clark County and ASARCO representatives get together to get the recontamination of house yards with lead under control.

ASARCO owns 2,000 acres of vacant properties around East Helena which they are planning to sell. However, the EPA plans to halt the sale until lead pollution controls are adopted, saying the city and county need to address the problem of public health and the scattering of lead-contaminated soils carried away by dump trucks. Lead is a heavy metal that settles into the gravel of streams, persisting for many years. We have no idea what the extent of lead poisoning impacts to fish and humans is in Prickly Pear Creek. ~

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304 N 18th Avenue • Bozeman MT 59715 • Phone: 406-587-9181
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