ASARCO Stacks To Be Demolished

Joshua Zuber – KFOX14

EL PASO, Texas — The ASARCO copper smelter was one of the biggest economic drivers of El Paso in the 20th century. It stopped operations in 1999 and now is slated to become a multiuse facility.

“It’s going to be a green space, multiuse. The arroyo will be rehabilitated to look like a natural arroyo. In the plant side, there will be various commercial and industrial types of uses. On the other side of the freeway, they’re looking at potentially residential development,” said Roberto Puga, site custodial trustee.

It looks from the [recastingthesmelter.com] website that an amusement park is on the table.

But one of the biggest changes, besides the new development, will be the loss of the smokestacks, which are scheduled to be imploded around February of next year.

“We are planning to bring down the two big concrete stacks. The 800-foot and 600-foot stacks,” Puga said.

“It was polled that, yes, the majority of citizens want to keep these stacks. But when polled about the cost, the majority said they don’t want to keep them. Puga said they are not up to code, specifically for earthquakes.”

“They would need to be retrofitted so that they met the current seismic code. And also you would need to set aside money for maintenance, relocation of the aircraft warning lights and insurance for owning those things, and we came up with a net present value of about $14 million.”