ASARCO Smelter Site Cleanup, El Paso, Texas
23 JAN 2012

New Updates to the ASARCO Smelter Site Website

Dear Stakeholders,

Happy New Year! The Trust has been extremely busy working at the Former ASARCO Smelter Site to ensure a safe demolition and thorough investigation/remediation process. Our project goals for 2012 include the following:

  • Complete the construction of the Category I landfill facility (Cell 4). This activity is a necessary pre-cursor to the disposal of hazardous materials at the site and is also the first step in the arroyo restoration process. For more information about the landfill, please click here.
  • Continuing design work and planning for the groundwater remedy.
  • Finish marketing site assets (money generated by the sale of assets goes directly to fund remedial action of the Site). For a summary of assets sold to date, please click here.
  • Review options for marketing the Trust properties. For a map of the Trust properties, please click here.
  • Preserve the remaining site buildings (including both the office and powerhouse). For pictures of these structures, please click here.
  • Interfacing with TXDOT to negotiate the transfer of Trust property for use in the widening of I-10.

Please note that there have been new website updates and some new site activities. These include:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. A New Arroyo Web Camera Is Available Now

    There is a new Arroyo Web Camera on the homepage of showing the ongoing construction of the Category I Landfill. Please note that the webcam displays photographs that are taken every few minutes.

  4. Community Meeting Held on November 3rd

    A Community Meeting was held on November 3rd in the main downtown library. There was a presentation that included project status and progress on the remedial activities. The entire meeting presentation is available on our website. Please click here to view this presentation. Thank you to all stakeholders that participated in the meeting.

  5. Field Soil Sampling Work

    The second round of field samples was collected on October 19th. The sampling locations are a continuation of the work begun on August 8th and 9th. These samples were at locations previously identified by ex-ASARCO workers. A summary of results for the 2nd round of sampling will be available shortly. Click here to view the previous Interim Data Gap Report.

  6. Ambient Air Monitoring Plan

    The Ambient Air Monitoring Plan submitted to TCEQ on 11/17/11 is now available online. This Plan was developed to establish site related target limits for the analytes of concern for comparison with state and federal standards. TCEQ’s approval of this plan has also been posted on the website. Click here to view the Ambient Air Monitoring Plan.

  7. Trustee Returning to El Paso

    The Site Trustee is scheduled to be in El Paso on February 15th and 16th. Please contact us with any meeting requests.

  8. Recent News

    Local publications have recently written a number of articles on the Site. Such articles include Are Industrial Relics Worth Preserving? 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.