DOCUMENTS

Site Overview

The site began operations as a lead smelter in 1887. It was owned by Consolidated Kansas Smelting and Refining Company, which later merged with the American Smelting and Refining Company (ASARCO). ASARCO started producing copper in 1910, operated a Godfrey roaster for cadmium oxide productions in the 1930s, and constructed a slag fuming plant for zinc recovery in 1948. ASARCO added an antimony plant in 1970. The zinc plant was closed in 1982, the lead plant closed in 1985, the antimony plant shut down in 1986, and the cadmium plant was shut down in 1992. Most recently, in February 2009, the state air permit for the copper smelter was voided by the TCEQ at ASARCO’s request. The main potential chemicals of concern (PCOCs) are: Lead, Arsenic, Cadmium, Chromium, Copper, Iron, Selenium, Zinc. The media of concern is both soil and groundwater.

In 1994 and 1995, after a series of compliance inspections, it was determined that unauthorized discharges of solid waste, wastewater, and storm water had occurred at the facility. The Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC; the immediate predecessor of the TCEQ) issued an Agreed Order. The Order instructed ASARCO to conduct a site characterization, define the horizontal and vertical extent of soil and groundwater contamination, and define the extent of contamination across property boundaries.

In October 1998, ASARCO completed the initial site investigation and submitted the ASARCO El Paso Copper Smelter Remedial Investigation Report, El Paso, Texas.

In April 1999, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the State of Texas filed a civil enforcement action in federal district court that alleged ASARCO violated the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) by failing to properly manage hazardous waste and engaging in unlawful recycling practices. This action resulted in an April 1999 Consent Decree (H-99-1136) being entered in federal district court. In addition to addressing other ASARCO sites, the Consent Decree directed ASARCO to complete the corrective action work at the El Paso site under the 1996 State of Texas Agreed Order. The Consent Decree was subsequently modified in 2004.

On May 20, 2005, the TCEQ issued a Corrective Action Directive to ASARCO to conduct remedial action for the El Paso site. In 2005, ASARCO and related entities declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

On Nov. 13, 2009 the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas in Corpus Christi issued an order confirming the plan of reorganization. On December 9, 2009, ASARCO placed $52,080,000 in an environmental custodial trust to address remedial activities.

Community

Community Plans

Ex-ASARCO Group Communications

Input

Save the Stacks Group

Technical Assistance Services for Communities (TASC)

Parker Brothers Arroyo

Presentations

Stack Demolition & Site Assets

Technical

Air Monitoring Data

Groundwater

Plant Site

Remedial Designs/Remedial Investigations

Reports

Storm Water Discharge Results

  • 2014 (Click to expand)

    2014 Discharge Monitoring Report

    The plant received approximately 9.40 inches of rain in 2014. The volume stored at the end of 2014 in Pond A and B was approximately 1,000,000 gallons of storm water. The entire storm water system can hold approximately 12 million gallons of water. On October 20, 2014, The Texas Custodial Trust began discharging water from Pond A and B to the permitted outfall (SW-5). The water had been analyzed and compared to the numeric effluent limitations and meets the discharge requirements of stormwater to inland waters in the Site’s SWP3 permit. In addition to the storm water stored onsite, storm water is also sampled, when present, in Parker Brothers Arroyo. Based on site history, the amount of rainfall required to generate storm water flow in Parker Brothers Arroyo is approximately 0.50 inches of rainfall in a short period of time. In July 2014, a rain event of 0.32 inches was recorded and a stormwater sample was taken from the effluent of Parker Brothers Arroyo at SW-5. The results meet the Daily Maximum discharge limits of the SWP3 permit.

  • 2013 (Click to expand)

    2013 Discharge Monitoring Report

    The plant received ~9.16 inches of rain in 2013. The volume stored at the end of 2013 in Pond A was approximately 800,000 gallons of storm water. The entire storm water system can hold approximately 12 million gallons of water. There were no discharges of stormwater from Pond A of the storm water system in 2013. In addition to the storm water stored onsite, storm water is also sampled, when present, in Parker Brothers Arroyo. Based on site history, the amount of rainfall required to generate storm water flow in Parker Brothers Arroyo is approximately 0.25 inches of rainfall in a short period of time. In July 2013, a rain event of 0.38 inches was recorded and a stormwater sample was taken from the effluent of Parker Brothers Arroyo at SW-5. The results meet the Daily Maximum discharge limits.

  • 2012 (Click to expand)

    2012 Discharge Monitoring Report

    The plant site received ~4.62 inches of rain in 2012. The volume stored at the end of 2012 was the same as at the end of 21011. Approximately 500,000 gallons of storm water is stored in the lined ponds on the plant site. The storm water is currently contained in Pond A of the storm water system. The entire storm water system can hold approximately 12 million gallons of water. Since the ponds are less than 10 percent of capacity, there are currently no plans to discharge the storm water. If the water is discharged to the storm water system, an analytical sample will be collected and analyzed prior to discharge to ensure the water meets the TPDES Multi-Section General Permit discharge limits.

    In addition to the storm water stored onsite, storm water is also sampled, when present, in Parker Brothers Arroyo. Based on site history, the amount of rainfall required to generate storm water flow in Parker Brothers Arroyo is approximately 0.25 inches of rainfall in a short period of time. In January 2012, a rain event of 0.31 inches was recorded and a stormwater sample was taken from the effluent of Parker Brothers Arroyo at SW-5. The results meet the Daily Maximum discharge limits.

  • 2011 (Click to expand)

    The plant site has received ~1.9 inches of rain to date this year, with a maximum daily amount of 0.16 inches of rain observed in July. This rainfall has generated approximately 500,000 gallons of storm water collected in lined ponds on the plant site. The storm water is currently contained in Pond A of the storm water system. The storm water system can hold approximately 8 million gallons of water. The Trust is currently evaluating if the water is suitable for reuse on site for dust suppression. Since the ponds are approximately 10 percent of capacity, there are currently no plans to discharge the storm water. If the water is discharged to the storm water system, an analytical sample will be collected and analyzed prior to discharge to ensure the water meets the discharge limits.

    In addition to the storm water stored onsite, storm water is also sampled, when present, in Parker Brothers Arroyo. Based on site history, the amount of rainfall required to generate storm water flow in Parker Brothers Arroyo is approximately 0.25 inches of rainfall in a short period of time. Based on the rainfall totals observed onsite this year, a daily maximum of 0.16 inches, and confirmed with visual observation, no storm water flow has been generated in Parker Brothers Arroyo; therefore, no storm water sample has been collected. When storm water samples are collected on site the results will be posted.

  • July 26, 2010
  • February 16, 2010