How very sad for El Paso Texas and East Helena MT that the citizens are not being told about the massive amounts of illegal hazardous wastes. EPA secretly told the Federal DOJ in 1998 that ASARCO was running an unpermitted and illegal secret hazardous-waste disposal operation for profit. ASARCO Encycle in Corpus Christi (see the whistleblower report) would take the stuff in internationally, mix it up and hide it, and send it along via the railroad to El Paso Asarco and East Helena Asarco for secret disposal. PCB's, Dioxins, radioactive materials -- all were handled and smelted. The DOJ kept it such a secret that the DOJ Trustee failed to act on a legal-request to inform the bankruptcy court; and, the bankruptcy courts were allowed to IGNORE THE LIABILITIES from the years of secret waste disposal. To this day although the sites are closed, there has not been DISclosure of the chemicals involved. Whatever it was, it was very very bad.
"While the lack of a zoning ordinance certainly made it easier on them the first time around, the Johnsons know that the new codes will help businesses looking to expand into East Helena as more and more property becomes readily available with the bankruptcy of Asarco.
For decades, the smelter had a stranglehold on the city’s outlying property, making it difficult for people who wanted to build into the valley. With the foreclosure on its property and the recent cleanups after it was determined a Superfund site, the area is primed for change."