ASARCO Smokestack in El Paso Bites the Dust

By ABQnews Staff / ABQ Journal Online

A demolition crew toppled a 300-foot smokestack at the old Asarco site in El Paso Tuesday, part of a demolition project at the 100-year-old site which will culminate next year with the downing of two larger stacks, including the one with the name “Asarco,” the El Paso Times reported.

A few seconds after 1:52 p.m., 20,000 tons of steel landed with a crash and blasted clouds of dust, the Times said.

“That wasn’t bad at all,” Roberto Puga, the trustee in charge of the $52 million demolition and cleanup project, told the paper. “Dust control worked very well.”

The stack was part of Asarco’s acid plant, which was used to reclaim sulfuric acid from smelting byproducts which was later sold for commercial use, the Times said.

A 150-foot stack was pulled down without incident last week, and the cost of taking both smokestacks down is included in a $1 million contract paid to Puga’s company by a company that will process and sell the scrap material, the paper reported.

Puga said the $1 million will be applied to the cleanup, according to the Times.

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