ASARCO Smelter Site Cleanup, El Paso, Texas
12 OCT 2011

New Updates to the ASARCO Smelter Site Website

The Texas Custodial Trust is committed to the remediation of the Site and to working with the surrounding community and stakeholders. As part of our stakeholder outreach efforts we are dedicated to maintaining a website that has the most current and up-to-date site information. Please note that there have been new website updates and some new site activities. These include:

  1. Community Meeting is Scheduled for November 3rd

    A community meeting for the Former ASARCO Smelter Site is scheduled for November 3, 2011. All community members are encouraged to attend this meeting to discuss project status and upcoming activities. The meeting will focus on the scheduled stack implosion (estimated for February 2012), and progress of the remedial activities. Specific details:

    Community Meeting regarding the Former ASARCO Smelter Site
    November 3, 2011
    5:00pm – 7:00pm
    El Paso Downtown Public Library, Main Auditorium
    501 North Oregon Street

  2. 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.

    Please note that the complete Site Demolition Sequence can be found here.

  3. Asset Sales & Recovery

    To date, nearly $4 million has been paid to the Trust for lead and copper matte that have been removed from the site. Identification of additional asset materials in the Converter Building is currently underway. Payment to the Trust for the Oxygen Plant was made earlier this year. The plant has been dismantled and the equipment will be removed from the site by September 2011. Any money generated by the sale of scrap materials goes directly to fund cleanup and remedial action of the Site. Please view the ‘Updates’ tab of the website for a specific list of items that have been sold.

  4. 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.

  5. Field Soil Sampling Work & Interim Data Gap Report

    The first round of field samples was collected the week of August 8th. These samples were at locations previously identified by ex-ASARCO workers. The Interim Data Gap Report summarized the results associated with these supplemental soil sampling activities.

    The soil sampling results released were for the following site areas: 1) Acid Plant Area, 2) Transformer Storage Area, 3) Wastewater Treatment Plant Sludge Disposal Area, and 4) Bedding Building & Unloading Building Area. Based on the results, these four areas do not have any new environmental issues. Click here to view the Interim Data Gap Report.

  6. Data Usability Summary Report

    The Data Usability Summary for PCB Rinse Water is now available online and can be viewed here.

  7. Trustee Returning to El Paso

    The Site Trustee is scheduled to be in El Paso on November 2 and 3. Please contact us with any meeting requests.

  8. Live Webcam is Available

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

  9. Recent News

    Local publications, including The El Paso Times, have recently written a number of articles on the Site. Such articles include ‘How the stacks will fall: Dynamite part of $8.8M effort to bring down Asarco icons’. Additionally, click here to view all recent news articles on the Site.

Thank you for your interest in the website. We appreciate your blog posts and are working to answer any questions in a timely manner.