Inspectors agree saving Asarco stacks would cost less

By Kandolite Flores – KFOX14

EL PASO, Texas —

Inspectors were brought in to see what it would take to save the stacks at Asarco.

“They’re doing a great job cleaning it up out there. It looks really nice,” said John Susong, CEO of Atlanta’s Industrial Access.

Susong is one of three inspectors brought in by the Save the Stacks group to check out Asarco. They took a tour with board member Geofferey Wright.

“The big one is 50 percent taller than the Washington Monument. It’s almost as tall as the Eiffel Tower. They’re iconic. They represent a big part of the history of El Paso. Asarco was key in founding the Texas College of Mines which became now UTEP. They’re an inaugural part of our history and once they’re gone, they’re gone — they’ll never be re-built,” he said.

In June, the group found it would be cheaper to keep the stacks but they now have to prove it.

“Time is running out but we have until November and by the end of this month we’ll have proposals from them to do the actual detailed inspection,” said Wright.

The group will hire one of the inspectors by the end of the month to create a proposal to present to the Asarco trustee Robert Puga.

After touring the site, there was a general consensus that, that making the necessary improvements wouldn’t be hard.

“As far as the stack go, they definitely are not in bad shape and can be brought up to current standard without a whole lot of work,” said Susong.

But they still have to also come up with the money it will take to make those improvements.

Some locals think no matter the price, it will be worth it.

Mira Torres, who lives in central El Paso, said, “I think saving the stacks might provide more money in the future depending on what we do with them.”

The future of Asarco will be determined less than four months from now.