04 APR 2012

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. Category I Landfill – Cell 4 and Interim Channel ConstructionInitial excavation for Category I landfill facility (Cell 4) began the first week of November. Through the week ending March 30, 2012, approximately 140,000 cubic yards of slag, and 90,000 cubic yards of native material have been removed from the landfill footprint and Parker Brothers Arroyo and placed in stockpiles on the plant site. 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 a final erosion prevention cover will be installed as filling of the cell is completed. The final cover will be graded to blend into the surrounding topography.Parker Brothers Arroyo (interim channel design): 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, estimated to be 110,000 cubic yards, will facilitate remediation of the groundwater at the Site and will greatly aid in the rehabilitation of the Arroyo. To date approximately 105,000 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 is complete and verification samples have been collected, 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.

    Malcolm Pirnie and the Trustee are continuing their work with TCEQ and EPA to install a field demonstration test of two permeable reactive barriers in Parker Brothers Arroyo. The permeable reactive barriers will use zero-valent iron to treat the arsenic in the groundwater.

    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 Cell 4 is currently underway. Excavation and construction of the Interim Channel began at the end of January 2012 and is anticipated take approximately 3 to 4 months to complete. Installation of the Cell 4 liner will begin once the excavation and prepared subgrade is complete and is anticipated to be completed in May or June 2012. It is anticipated that filling of the landfill will take 12-18 months.

  2. Facility Demolition UpdateFacility Asset Recovery and Demolition Update Facility demolition is wrapping up as asset recovery operations continue and additional work is conducted on the structures that will remain after demolition. To date more than $14 million has been deposited into the Trust’s account as a result of asset recovery operations.At the conclusion of the demolition scope of work, the following structures will remain on site: 1. the Bedding Building, which is slated for eventual complete demolition, has been partially demolished and will be continue to be used for temporary material storage until other on-site activities are complete. 2. the Administration Building is intended to remain as a permanent structure on site 3. the former Power House is also intended to remain as a permanent structure. As a result, asbestos-containing material (ACM) from both buildings will be removed. This work is complete in the Power House and will be completed in the near future for the Administration Building. Demolition of the two large concrete stacks has been suspended as described in the Trustee’s statement on this website (click here to view this statement). Lastly, several large water tanks will remain on site to facilitate investigation and remediation activities.
  3. TxDOT Coordination for the Expansion of I-10The Trustee is working with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) on easement negotiations for the proposed expansion of the Border Highway West. To date, the Trustee has completed an archaeological survey around the former Smeltertown cemetery to assist with the negotiations. In addition, we are working with TxDOT to evaluate alternative grading configurations and improvements to the drainage structures near I-10 that will equally facilitate both the Border Highway West and smelter clean-up projects.
  4. El Paso Museum of History ASARCO ExhibitionThe El Paso Museum of History is currently exhibiting Traces: A Visual Record of the Deconstruction of the Asarco Smelter, a photographic study by Carol Eastman. This exhibition is available from February 16th – June 30th. Please click here for additional information.
  5. A New Arroyo Web Camera Is AvailableAn Arroyo Web Camera is available on the homepage of www.RecastingtheSmelter.com. This camera displays the ongoing construction of the Category I Landfill. Please note that the webcam displays photographs that are taken every few minutes.
  6. Recent NewsLocal publications have recently written a number of articles on the Site. Such articles include New ABC-7 Poll Shows Public Wants To See ASARCO Stack Go 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.

ASARCO Smelter Site Cleanup, El Paso, Texas