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Asarco Suing for Help With Cleanup Costs

KGVO State-Wide & Regional News
KGVO State-Wide & Regional News
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Asarco LLC wants three other companies to help pay for environmental cleanup required at its former lead smelter in East Helena and a silver mine near Philipsburg.

The Independent Record reports Asarco filed lawsuits in U.S. District Court in Helena last week alleging that BP America, American Chemet and the Hecla Mining Co. all contributed to the pollution

Asarco paid $113 million in a 2009 bankruptcy settlement for cleanup at the smelter. Asarco argues that Atlantic Richfield Co., — now owned by BP America — owned and operated a zinc mining facility at the East Helena plant site from 1927-1972. It also alleges American Chemet’s operations near the smelter led to the discharge of hazardous substances.

Asarco paid $17.7 million for cleanup at the Black Pine mine, which was owned by Hecla from 1922-1931.

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