SITE UPDATES/ACTIVITIES

  • Current Activities


    Category I Landfill – Cell 4 and Interim Channel Construction

    As described in the previous email blast, excavation for the Category I landfill facility (Cell 4) began the first week of November, 2011. The final extent of excavation activities had been reached, and verified with survey data. In all, approximately 150,000 cubic yards of slag, and 140,000 cubic yards of native material was removed from the landfill footprint and Parker Brothers Arroyo, and placed in stockpiles on the plant site. Construction crews have completed placing clean engineered fill to build the bottom of the landfill. The landfill is now ready for the 6-inch thick prepared subgrade. An engineered 60-mil thick high density polyethylene (HDPE) liner over a geosynthetic clay liner will be installed over the prepared subgrade. A protective layer of selected impacted material will be carefully placed over the liner. Impacted soils and debris from the former smelter will then be placed into the cell and compacted. A soil cover will be placed over the filled cell to encapsulate the impacted material. Drainage improvements and erosion prevention measures will be installed as filling of the cell is completed. The final cover will be contoured to blend into the surrounding topography.

    Basement Backfill Design and Placement

    Starting after Thanksgiving 2012, the Trust’s contractors began using Category II material from the excavation of the Cell 4 and Interim Channel Construction area in the Parker Brother’s Arroyo to backfill building basements at the site. The material is an engineered soil backfill that will facilitate future development on the plant site. The volume of Category II material used to date as backfill is approximately 55,000 cubic yards with an estimated 20,000 cubic yards more to be placed. The basements backfilled to date using Category II material are the ore unloading building basement and the north area of the ConTop. Additional basements to be filled include the engineering building, pipe trench, and the south end of the ConTop. Additional Category II material is planned to be used as sub-base before a clean cover is placed on top, as part of the remedy. 6500 CY of clean soil was also used as backfill in five very small basements due to limited access and difficult placement conditions. These basements including: the cooling tower house pits, the warehouse basement, the east scale pit, the antimony pits, and the train scale house pits.

    Parker Brothers Arroyo (PBA) (interim channel design)/Permeable Reactive Barrier (Field Demonstration)

    Based on information collected during the data gap assessment, the Trust, with TCEQ and EPA concurrence, has determined that removal of slag in the bottom of Parker Brothers Arroyo (PBA) will facilitate remediation of the groundwater at the Site and will greatly aid in the rehabilitation of the Arroyo. In total, approximately 120,000 cubic yards of slag and slag/soil have been removed from PBA and placed in stockpiles on the plant property. Once the excavation of the slag material was completed, the Trust, in conjunction with TCEQ, collected verification samples. The area will be backfilled with clean material and then constructed to the approved configuration that meets the City of El Paso drainage design requirements. At this time the Interim Channel has been partially backfilled. The remaining Interim Channel, will be backfilled with clean material (approximately 30,000 cubic yard) which will be begin again after the preparations for stack demolition are complete. Clean material from the east property will be transported and used as backfill to complete the Interim Channel. Once the clean backfill material is placed, it will be protected from erosion with 8-inches of soil cement and 15-inches of riprap.

    The Trust will use zerovalent iron (ZVI)-based PRBs to treat groundwater in situ and help reduce the flux of constituents of concern (COCs) as part of the groundwater remedial strategy. Details of these field demonstration activities were discussed in the approved Field Demonstration of Zerovalent Iron Treatment Technology in Parker Brothers Arroyo submitted to TCEQ in July 2012. As part of the field demonstration for the permeable reactive barrier technology, two permeable reactive barriers were installed. The locations selected were PRB-1 (located in the eastern most portion of the section of PBA), and PRB-2 (located within a narrowing of the bedrock in the historical arroyo channel bottom). Construction of the PRBs began in September and was completed in October 2012. Between the two PRB walls a total of approximately 250 linear feet of material was placed. In total, 650 tons of zero-valent iron, mixed with approximately 1,500 tons of clean sand and gravel was installed. The mixture resulted in a zero-valent iron percentage of approximately 30 percent by weight within the PRB. The PRB thicknesses in each wall were 8 feet thick and installed to a depth of up to 25 feet below ground surface. After installation of the PRBs, interim groundwater monitoring events are being conducted to measure groundwater concentrations of the chemicals of concern and the analytes of interest. These monitoring events are part of the field demonstration program to evaluate the effectiveness of this installation and technology. To date three groundwater monitoring events have been conducted to monitor the effectiveness of the PRBs. Groundwater sampling will continue through the project to document the effectiveness of the PRBs.

    The concentrations of iron in groundwater are increasing and the groundwater levels have stabilized, indicating that groundwater is flowing through the PRBs as designed. There has been a decrease in arsenic and selenium at some of the down gradient wells. The Trust will continue to monitor the groundwater concentrations as part of the field demonstration for the two PRBs. Additional groundwater monitoring wells will be installed in Parker Brothers Arroyo once in the Interim Channel bottom is complete; this is currently anticipated in April 2013.

    The Trust submitted a three-month memorandum to TCEQ in January 2013, click here to view the Draft PRB Field Demonstration – Three Month Status Update, February 1, 2013. A six-month construction report will also be submitted to TCEQ in 2013. Findings from this field evaluation will be used to augment the installation if needed for use as a long term solution in PBA and help determine if the technology is appropriate for other arroyos on the plant site.

    Schedule

    A revised design package for the landfill liner system was submitted to TCEQ on July 9, 2012 with additional modeling submitted on January 15, 2013 in response to comments by TCEQ. Excavation and placement of engineered backfill in Cell 4 to create the bottom shape of the cell is complete. Excavation of the Interim Channel began at the end of January 2012 and was completed in July 2012.

    Installation of the Cell 4 liner will begin once the prepared subgrade is complete and we receive concurrence from TCEQ and EPA to proceed with the installation; this is anticipated in February 2013. It is anticipated that filling of the landfill will take 12-18 months. We will continue to monitor the field demonstration of the two PRBs, detailed monitoring of the treatment results will occur for at least a year and long-term monitoring of the PRBs will continue as part of the site operations and maintenance. Basement backfill is anticipated to be complete by April 2013.

    Click here to view older posts on this topic.

    November 5, 2012

    Category I Landfill – Cell 4 and Interim Channel Design Status

    Excavation for Category I landfill facility (Cell 4) began the first week of November, 2011. The final extent of excavation activities has been reached, and verified with survey data. In all, approximately 150,000 cubic yards of slag, and 140,000 cubic yards of native material was removed from the landfill footprint and Parker Brothers Arroyo, and placed in stockpiles on the plant site. Construction crews have begun placing clean engineered fill back into the arroyo to build the bottom of the landfill. An engineered 60-mil thick high density polyethylene (HDPE) liner over a geosynthetic clay liner will be installed over the prepared subgrade. A protective layer of selected impacted material will be carefully placed over the liner. Impacted soils and debris from the former smelter will then be placed into the cell and compacted. A soil cover will be placed over the filled cell to encapsulate the impacted material. Drainage improvements and erosion prevention measures will be installed as filling of the cell is completed. The final cover will be contoured to blend into the surrounding topography.

    Parker Brothers Arroyo (interim channel design)/Permeable Reactive Barrier (Field Demonstration): Based on information collected during the data gap assessment, the Trust, with TCEQ and EPA concurrence, has determined that removal of slag in the bottom of Parker Brothers Arroyo will facilitate remediation of the groundwater at the Site and will greatly aid in the rehabilitation of the Arroyo. In total, approximately 120,000 cubic yards of slag and slag/soil have been removed from Parker Brothers Arroyo and placed in stockpiles on the plant property. Once the excavation of the slag material was completed, the Trust, in conjunction with TCEQ, collected verification, the area will be backfilled with clean material and then constructed to the approved configuration that meets the City of El Paso drainage design requirements. Select areas of the Interim Channel have begun to be backfilled.

    As part of the field demonstration for the permeable reactive barrier technology, two permeable reactive barriers were installed. The locations selected were PRB-1 (located in the eastern most portion of the section of Parker Brothers Arroyo), and PRB-2 (located within a narrowing of the bedrock in the historical arroyo channel bottom). Construction of the PRBs began in September and was completed in October 2012. Between the two PRB walls a total of approximately 250 linear feet of material was placed. In total, 650 tons of zero-valent iron, mixed with approximately 1,500 tons of clean sand and gravel was installed. The mixture resulted in a zero-valent iron percentage of approximately 30 percent by weight within the PRB. The PRB thicknesses in each wall were 8 feet thick and installed to a depth of up to 25 feet below ground surface. After installation of the PRBs, interim groundwater monitoring events are being conducted to measure groundwater concentrations of the chemicals of concern and the analytes of interest. These monitoring events are part of the field demonstration program to evaluate the effectiveness of this installation and technology. Findings from this field evaluation will be used to augment this installation if needed for use as a long term solution in Parker Brothers Arroyo and help determine if the technology is appropriate for other arroyos on the plant site.

    Schedule

    Regulatory approvals from TCEQ and the City of El Paso have been received for both the Category 1 Landfill – Cell 4 and the Interim Channel Design (Click here to view these approvals). A revised design package for the landfill liner system was submitted to TCEQ on July 9. Excavation of Cell 4 is completed and we have begun placement of the engineered backfill to bring the grade back up to the landfill design elevation. Excavation of the Interim Channel began at the end of January 2012 and was completed in July 2012. Installation of the Cell 4 liner will begin once the excavation and prepared subgrade is complete and is anticipated to be completed and we received concurrence from TCEQ and EPA to proceed with the placement, this is anticipated to be January 2013. It is anticipated that filling of the landfill will take 12-18 months. We will continue to monitor the field demonstration of the two PRBs, detailed monitoring of the treatment results will occur for at least a year, and continued monitoring of the PRBs will continue as part of the site operations and maintenance.

    January 23, 2012
    Category I Landfill – Cell 4 and Interim Channel Design Status

    Initial excavation for Category I landfill facility (Cell 4) began the first week of November. Through the week ending January 7, 2012, approximately 10,000 cubic yards of slag, and 50,000 cubic yard of native material have been removed from the landfill footprint. In addition to the engineered 60-mil thick high density polyethylene (HDPE) liner, a geosynthetic clay liner will be installed over the prepared subgrade. A protective layer of select impacted material will be carefully placed over the liner. Impacted soils and debris from the former smelter will then be placed and compacted into the cell. An interim soil cover will be placed over the compacted impacted soils to encapsulate the impacted material. Drainage improvements and a final erosion prevention cover will be installed when filling of the cell is completed. The final cover will be graded to blend into the surrounding topography. Design plans for the new cell liner system are being revised.

    Based on information collected during the data gap assessment, Malcolm Pirnie and the Trustee, in conjunction with TCEQ and EPA, have determined that removal of potential source material, estimated to be 110,000 cubic yards, will facilitate remediation of the groundwater in Parker Brothers Arroyo. To take advantage of the construction equipment, the open excavation as part of the Category 1 landfill construction and to ensure that no damage occurs to the landfill liner due to adjacent construction work, excavation of Parker Brothers Arroyo will begin before the bottom-liner system is installed. Excavation within Parker Brothers Arroyo and the interim channel improvements are collective referred to as the Interim Channel Design.

    Schedule: Regulatory approvals from TCEQ and the City of El Paso have been received for both the Category 1 Landfill – Cell 4 and the Interim Channel Design(Click here to view these approvals). Excavation of the main landfill are currently on-going. Excavation and construction of the Interim Channel Design is anticipated to begin at the end of January 2012 and take approximately 3 months. The bottom-liner of Cell 4 will begin after the excavation of Parker Brothers Arroyo, and is anticipated to be completed in May 2012. It is anticipated that filling of the landfill will take 12-18 months to fill Cell 4.

    October 12, 2011
    Category I Landfill – Cell 4 Status

    A fourth Category I landfill facility (Cell 4) is nearing the completion of the design phase and will soon be constructed. There are three other Category I cells on site. Cell 4 will have capacity to contain approximately 200,000 cu yd of material. It will be located on the northeast slope of the arroyo as a first step in the arroyo restoration process. The slag in this area and an old storm water culvert will be removed to facilitate excavation and shaping of the new cell bottom. An engineered 60-mil thick high density polyethylene (HDPE) liner will then be installed over prepared subgrade. A protective layer of select impacted material will be carefully placed over the liner. Impacted soils and debris from the former smelter will then be placed and compacted into the cell. An interim soil cover will be placed over the compacted impacted soils to encapsulate the impacted material. Drainage improvements and a final erosion prevention cover will be installed when filling of the cell is completed. The final cover will be graded to blend into the surrounding topography. Design plans for the new cell were submitted to TCEQ and EPA the week of 8/29 for review and approval. (Please click here to view the submitted Landfill Package). Additionally, a grading permit application is also being prepared for submittal to the City of El Paso.

    Schedule: Pre-construction activities (e.g. installing erosion protection measures and establishing haulage ramps and roads) will begin as soon as possible. Excavation of Cell 4 is anticipated to begin the week of 10/17. The bottom-liner of Cell 4 is anticipated to be complete by Thanksgiving. It is anticipated to take 12-18 months to fill Cell 4.

    Dust Control & Perimeter Air Monitoring

    Operations at the site are being conducted to achieve a “no visible dust” goal such that dust from the site does not migrate beyond the perimeter of the site. In addition to monitoring for visible dust, a dust monitoring program using fence line total dust monitors is being implemented.

    Dust control is practiced during building decontamination and demolition operations by isolating dusty operations with portable barriers, rinsing structures prior to demolition, spraying water during demolition and utilizing designated haul routes where dust control is implemented.

    Please click here to view a Summary of the Dust Monitoring Program.

    Asset Inventory and Sales

    We are working to inventory fixed and movable assets for potential sale or scrap. We are continuing to market all Site assets. Please view the “Asset Sales and Information” section below for a specific list of items that have been sold. Money generated by the sale of scrap materials goes directly to fund cleanup and remedial action of the Site.

    Finalizing Draft Work Plans & Design Reports

    Consultants for the Trust have been performing investigations and preparing designs for the groundwater, soils and slag remedy as well as enhancements to the work to improve the appearance along Paisano Drive and Parker Brothers Arroyo. Documents include:

    Click here to view additional project documents.

    Supplemental Soil Sampling

    Additionally, the Trust is performing supplemental soil sampling activities to fill in information about specific areas of the site that the Trust feels have not been adequately characterized in the past. The Interim Data Gap Report summarized (a portion of) the results associated with these supplemental soil sampling activities. The remaining supplemental soil sampling work will be completed once the site demolition is completed. Click here to view the Supplemental Soil Sampling – Interim Data Gap Report.

    Groundwater Monitoring & Diesel Recovery

    Regular groundwater monitoring is performed at the Site. Additionally, ongoing diesel recovery activities occur with product sent to a recycle facility. Click here for the latest groundwater and surface water data.

    Storm Water Control

    The Texas Custodial Trust, in compliance with the storm water discharge permit at the former Asarco Smelter in El Paso, will begin discharging storm water from its storage ponds effective Wednesday, July 28, 2010. The ponds were analyzed and compared to the daily maximum effluent limitations prescribed in the permit for compliance purposes. Due to the overall low rainfall, only a few sampling and discharge events may occur during the year. Click here to view the 2012 Discharge Monitoring Report.

    Continued Intensive Community Outreach

    The Community Outreach effort has been higher than anticipated due to diverse stakeholders, a high level of community involvement, local government involvement and various community activist groups. Avenues for community input include:

    • Public website: www.RecastingTheSmelter.com
    • Blog: Gives the community a forum to post their opinions and input
    • Access to media: Regular interface with media outlets including National Public Radio (NPR), Wall St Journal, El Paso, Inc., El Paso Times, Il Diario and KVIA.com
    • Briefings for elected officials and the local community: Accepted meetings with anyone who has a request
    • El Paso-based contractors: We have utilized local labor as much as possible, over $2MM to date.

    Trustee & Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Partnership

    The ASARCO Texas Custodial Trust, the U.S. Department of Labor and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have recently met to discuss a partnership on the project. The partnership would help to foster open and transparent communication between the public, OSHA, the Trustee and the sub-contractors working on the project. Additionally, this partnership will expand OSHA’s reach into this project, allowing OSHA to work with all the companies involved to promote safety programs, management systems, and work methods utilizing the latest technologies and the safest available methods.

  • Completed Activities & Goals Accomplished

    Sitewide Demolition

    Site-wide demolition was initiated in April 2011 following selection of Brandenburg Industrial Service Company (Brandenburg) as the demolition contractor. During 2012, Brandenburg continued with the planned demolition activities and asset recovery under the oversight of Environmental Resources Management (ERM).

    The majority of the structural demolition at the site was completed in 2011. In 2012, demolition site activities focused on selective demolition of the Bedding Building and managing concrete, wood and other materials generated during the previous structural demolition activities. Asbestos abatement activities were also completed at the Powerhouse Building.

    The Powerhouse Building was not included in the original demolition scope. The historical society indicated an interest in maintaining the Powerhouse Building. An assessment of the costs associated with retaining the Powerhouse Building was conducted in 2012. As a result of the assessment, it was determined that reserving the building would be a multi-million dollar cost due primarily to the cost of stabilizing the structure. It does not appear likely that a private group will be willing to come forward to accept the costs of stabilizing, owning and maintaining the Powerhouse. A final decision regarding the Powerhouse will be made in early 2013. At a minimum, some mechanical components from inside the Powerhouse Building will be salvaged for historical purposes.

    The original 1880’s-era portions of the Administration Building will be abated in 2013 to return the building to its original adobe structure, which will be preserved for future use.

    The two chimneys were demolished in April 2013. The stacks were felled using explosives on one side to cause them to fall like a tree onto a bermed, engineered fall zone. An array of 16 air monitor locations was established during the event. Results of the air monitor data show that dust mitigation measures taken during the stack demolition event were effective in preventing health concerns.

    The complete Site Demolition Sequence can be found on the Visuals page.

    Click here to view older posts on this topic.

    May 14, 2013
    Sitewide Demolition

    Site-wide demolition was initiated in April 2011 following selection of Brandenburg Industrial Service Company (Brandenburg) as the demolition contractor. During 2012, Brandenburg continued with the planned demolition activities and asset recovery under the oversight of Environmental Resources Management (ERM).

    The majority of the structural demolition at the site was completed in 2011. In 2012, demolition site activities focused on selective demolition of the Bedding Building and managing concrete, wood and other materials generated during the previous structural demolition activities. Asbestos abatement activities were also completed at the Powerhouse Building.

    The Powerhouse Building was not included in the original demolition scope. The historical society indicated an interest in maintaining the Powerhouse Building. An assessment of the costs associated with retaining the Powerhouse Building was conducted in 2012. As a result of the assessment, it was determined that reserving the building would be a multi-million dollar cost due primarily to the cost of stabilizing the structure. It does not appear likely that a private group will be willing to come forward to accept the costs of stabilizing, owning and maintaining the Powerhouse. A final decision regarding the Powerhouse will be made in early 2013. At a minimum, some mechanical components from inside the Powerhouse Building will be salvaged for historical purposes.

    The original 1880’s-era portions of the Administration Building will be abated in 2013 to return the building to its original adobe structure, which will be preserved for future use.

    The largest demolition sub-task to be completed is the demolition of the two stacks still standing at the site. The demolition of the stacks is anticipated to occur in April 2013. ERM will lead the planning and permitting of the stack demolition. Specialty contractors will be procured to do the actual explosive activities and water fog system installation. ERM will also coordinate with various Federal, State and local agencies, site neighbors and the Juarez City police and fire departments. The demolition is anticipated to be done in early to mid-April 2013.

    The complete Site Demolition Sequence can be found on the Visuals page.

    November 30, 2012
    Sitewide Demolition

    Brandenburg, the demolition contractor, has paid the Trust 75% of the more than $1 million contract to perform site-wide demolition. The final installment was paid in the First Quarter of 2012.

    The majority of the structural demolition at the site was completed in 2011. In 2012, the demolition site activities focused on selective demolition of the Bedding Building and managing concrete, wood and other materials generated during the previous structural demolition activities. To date, asbestos has been abated from buildings included in the demolition scope of work and asbestos containing wastes are being transported from the site for off-site disposal. Most site structures have been demolished, and materials from the demolished structures continue to be managed on site and staged per the Demolition Project Manual.

    Currently, the main structures that remain on site are the two largest concrete stacks, the Powerhouse and Administration Building.

    The Powerhouse Building was not included in the original demolition scope. However, after a more detailed assessment of the costs associated with retaining the Powerhouse Building, it was determined that the building would be demolished and that some mechanical components from inside the Powerhouse Building would be salvaged for historical purposes. Portions of the Administration Building will also be abated and demolished to return the building to its original adobe structure which will be preserved for future use. The demolition of these structures is scheduled to be completed in 2012 through first quarter 2013.

    Detailed planning for demolition of the two largest concrete stacks has been suspended as described in the Trustee’s statement on this website.

    January 23, 2012
    Facility Demolition Update

    Brandenburg, the demolition contractor, has paid the Trust 75% of the more than $1 million contract to perform site-wide demolition. The final installment will be paid in the First Quarter of 2012.

    Facility demolition is on schedule and expected to be complete in the First Quarter of 2012. To date, asbestos has been abated from buildings included in the demolition scope of work and asbestos containing wastes are being transported from the site for off-site disposal. Most site structures have been demolished, and materials from the demolished structures continue to be managed on site and staged per the Demolition Project Manual.

    The main structures that remain on site are the Bedding Building (which is partially demolished), the two largest concrete stacks, the Powerhouse and Administration Building. Detailed planning for demolition of the two largest concrete stacks has been suspended as described in the Trustee’s statement on this website. The Powerhouse and Administration Building were excluded from the demolition scope of work and will remain on site after demolition is complete.

    October 12, 2011
    Facility Demolition Update

    Brandenburg, the demolition contractor, has paid the Trust half of the more than $1 million contract to perform site-wide demolition. The remaining installments will be paid at the end of the third and fourth quarters of demolition.

    To date, a majority of the asbestos has been abated and most of the acid plants, furnaces and converter building structures have been demolished. Additional details regarding demolition of the stacks will be provided at a Community Meeting scheduled on November 3, 2011 and via this website.

    May 3, 2011
    Facility Demolition Update

    Facility demolition began in April 2011 and is expected to take up to 12 months. Over the next few months, asset recovery operations will be ongoing concurrent with demolition activities. The two largest concrete stacks are scheduled to be demolished at the end of site-wide demolition, likely in the first quarter 2012. Additional details and notifications regarding demolition of the stacks will be provided via the project website (www.recastingthesmelter.com) nearer to the time of stack demolition.

    March 28, 2011
    Selection of the Demolition Contractor

    The ASARCO Trust has awarded the site demolition contract to Brandenburg Industrial Service Company (Brandenburg) of Chicago, Illinois. Brandenburg is an approximately $150 million dollar a year demolition company with more than 40 years of experience. Their website can be found atwww.brandenburg.com/default.html.

    Brandenburg will pay the Trust in excess of $1 million to perform the Site work. This very favorable arrangement is due to the significant value of the scrap metal to be recycled during the demolition. The Trust’s demolition engineering contractor, ERM, managed the procurement process, negotiated the agreement and will provide on-site construction management during the demolition. The payment and cost savings will be used for the site remediation, on such projects as the rehabilitation of Parker Brothers Arroyo.

    Companies that were not selected as a candidate prime contractor in the bidding process may still be eligible to conduct work as a subcontractor to the successful prime contractor.

    Firm Procurement

    • Environmental Engineering Consultant

      On May 20, 2010, the Site Trustee selected Malcolm Pirnie (www.pirnie.com) as the Environmental Engineering Consultant (They are located at 211 N. Florence, Suite 202, El Paso, TX.). Malcolm Pirnie has a high-level of experience successfully completing similar complex remediation jobs in Texas. The initial tasks of the consultant will be to: create an updated site safety plan, analyze past site data and identify any data gaps and participate in the City’s charrette process.
    • Demolition Consultant

      Additionally, ERM (www.erm.com) was hired as the demolition consultant (ERM is located at 100 Texaco Road, El Paso, TX). ERM has been selected to coordinate the plans and specs for the demolition. They are a major national consulting firm that has performed hundreds of similar and successful demolition projects across the country.
    • Demolition Contractor

      On March 10, 2011 the Site Trustee selected Brandenburg Industrial Service Company as the Site Demolition Contractor. Brandenburg is an approximately $150 million dollar a year demolition company with more than 40 years of experience. Their website can be found at www.brandenburg.com/Default.html.

      Brandenburg will pay the Trust in excess of $1 million to perform the Site work. This very favorable arrangement is due to the significant value of the scrap metal to be recycled during the demolition. The Trust’s demolition engineering contractor, ERM, managed the procurement process, negotiated the agreement and will provide on-site construction management during the demolition. The payment and cost savings will be used for the site remediation, on such projects as the rehabilitation of Parker Brothers Arroyo.

    Asset Sales

    We are continuing to market all Site assets. Any money generated by the sale of scrap materials goes directly to fund cleanup and remedial action of the Site. Please view the ‘Asset Sales and Information’ section below for additional information.

    Rail Removal

    The plant rails, rail ties, switches and other track material were sold to National Salvage for $215,000. The first phase of rail removal activities is complete. More than 60 loads of rail and 40 loads of rail ties and other track material were shipped off site for reuse and/or recycle. The second phase of rail removal will begin once the site-wide demolition activities are complete. View the Railroad Removal Plan.

    Contop & Old Reverb

    Copper matte, which consists of mixed metallic copper, partially reduced copper concentrate and slag, was recovered from the Contop and Reverb furnace areas, staged, and then loaded for transportation off Site by the purchaser. Copper cooling jackets which lined the furnaces also were separately recovered and sold. Additional sources of copper matte were evaluated and asset recovery operations are still ongoing.

    • demo of Contop and Old Reverb
    • demo of Contop and Old Reverb
    • demo of Contop and Old Reverb
    • demo of Contop and Old Reverb

    Collected/Reviewed Analytical and Spatial Data

    We have reviewed and analyzed previous site documents and data. Additionally we created a database and performed an extensive data gap analysis. Click here to view our October 2010 Community Presentation where this information was presented to the public.

    Asbestos Surveys

    The purpose of the surveys was to identify suspected asbestos containing materials so that proper abatement procedures can be developed and implemented. Materials suspected to contain asbestos as determined in the field by a Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) licensed inspector will be sampled and analyzed to identify asbestos containing materials (ACM). The demolition project manual will include a listing of the identified ACM and establish the requirements for ACM removal and waste management. Please click here to view the Asbestos Surveys.

    Smelting Process Report

    As part of our site characterization work we researched which processes were used at the site to handle concentrate and other materials. Click here to view the report on the ASARCO El Paso Smelting Processes, October 2010.

    Completion of a Property Survey, click here to view the survey.

    Stack Stability Analysis

    A structural (including seismic) analysis was completed to evaluate the stability of the existing 826-foot high stack. The evaluation included analyzing the outer shell and inner liner. Click here to view the ‘Analysis of the Structural Integrity of the 826′ ASARCO Dual Smokestack, September, 2010’.

    Conclusions from the structural evaluation are the following:

    • The outer shell is stable due to wind loads and meets the requirements for current
      seismic code;
    • The inner stack is not subjected to wind loads but does not meet requirements for
      current seismic code;
    • Cost Analysis:
      • The inner stack could be brought to code by reducing its height by 110 feet. ~$5.8MM is needed to bring the stack to code; annual maintenance costs are about $114,000;
      • The outside surface of the outer shell would need to be repaired, resealed and
        repainted at years 12 and 32 at $440,000 each occurrence;
      • The inner liner and outer shell (both their inside and outside surfaces) would need to be repaired, resealed and repainted at years 22 and 42 at $1,130,000 each occurrence.

    Letter to Puga RE Structural Integrity of Smokestack 09-20-10

    Donation of Historical Materials

    The Site Trustee has donated various Site materials to the UTEP Special Collections Department. Materials included historical documents, photographs, pay ledgers, hand‐drawn architectural drawings and maps. Click here to see photographs of the donation.

    Site Security – 24/7 Security Crew

    Installation of a Live Webcam

    There is a live webcam available for the public to view Site activities. This webcam can be viewed on the homepage of www.recastingthesmelter.com

    Electricity Re-Route

    Successfully re-routed and scaled back electricity use to significantly lower Site costs. Click here to see a photo of the re-wiring.

    UTEP Internships

    The Site Trustee developed approximately 6-7 UTEP Student Internships with UTEP’s Center for Environmental Resource Management (CERM). These interns worked with Malcolm-Pirnie and ERM on the demolition, solid waste remediation and groundwater remediation aspects of the project.

  • Asset Sales and Information

    Asset Recovery and Sales (updated 2/13)

    No Item Amount Notes
    1 Horizontal Cryogenic Liquid O2 Tanks $200,000 Sold 3/5/2010
    2 Rails/Rail Ties $215,000 Sold 7/12/2010
    3 Miscellaneous Equipment $426,600 Sold 2010/2011
    4 Miscellaneous Scrap Metal $1,043,743 Sold 2010/2011
    5 Oxygen Plant $1,900,000 Sold 4/2011
    6 Matte Sales $6,004,667 Sold 2011
    7 High % Copper Material $843,413 Sold 2011
    8 Lead Scrap $1,084,000 Sold 2011
    9 Matte Sales $11,902,458 Sold 2012
      Subtotal $23,619,881  
      Asset Recovery Costs $8,559,694  
      NET TOTAL $15,060,187  

    2012 Asset Recovery Update: In 2012, additional matte material was recovered and sold bringing the total value of assets recovered and sold over the course of the project to approximately $23.6MM. Also in late 2012, materials were identified on-site that contained commercial quantities of zinc, which are still being evaluated.

    March 11, 2011 – Oxygen Plant Sale

    The ASARCO Trust has just received $1.9MM (US), from the sale of the oxygen plant component at the former El Paso ASARCO Smelter Site. The oxygen plant includes a 450 ton per day air-separation unit and supporting equipment and control units.

    The oxygen plant components will be dismantled and cleaned on site via pressure washing with water. After cleaning, the plant components will be loaded onto trucks and transported to port destinations for overseas transport. The dismantling work will begin at the end of March 2011 and will be completed in approximately four months.

    • Oxygen Plant

    March 8, 2011 – Copper Matte and Scrap Lead Sold

    The ASARCO Trust has just entered into a contract with Mexican mining company Rio Tinto for the purchase of approximately 6,000 tons of copper matte. A contract is also being finalized with Rio Tinto for the purchase of approximately 2,000,000 pounds of scrap lead.

    Starting March 14th the material will be shipped off of the Site in covered trucks. It is anticipated that approximately 3 to 5 trucks per day will be leaving the site for the next 6 months.

    August 1, 2010 – Rail Sold

    The plant rails, rail ties, switches and other track material have been sold to National Salvage for $215,000. The materials will be removed, rinsed on-site, loaded onto trucks and transported offsite for reuse and/or recycle. Removal activities will begin the week of August 9th and will continue for up to two months. During that time, it is expected that less than 5 trucks per day on average will be leaving the site.

    • ASARCO Rails
    • ASARCO Rails
    • ASARCO Rails

    July 21, 2010 – Site Auction Postponed

    Roberto Puga, P.G., Trustee for the ASARCO Texas Custodial Trust, announced today that the equipment liquidation auction originally scheduled for the week of August 2, 2010, by Walter Parker Auctioneer, Inc. will be postponed. A new date has not been set.

    Puga explained that more time is needed to value various assets and personal property and to determine which items could bring better returns if sold by direct sale to commercial purchasers. The Trustee is responsible for managing the cleanup of the El Paso Smelter facility and maximizing the return on the sale of any assets. Any money generated by the sale of equipment and salvage items goes directly to fund cleanup and remedial action of the site.

    June 16, 2010 – Slag pots sold

    Six slag pots were sold for ~$60,000. The pots were cleaned before they were moved offsite. Click the colored blocks below to view photographs of the slag pots.

    March 5, 2010 – Cryogenic liquid oxygen above-ground tanks sold

    A buyer has been found for two horizontal, 45,000-gallon cryogenic liquid oxygen above-ground tanks for $130,500. The tanks will be cleaned before they are moved offsite. Click the colored block below to view a photograph of the tanks.

    Hover over the colored blocks to view the item description.