ASARCO Smelter Site

Location El Paso, TX Regulatory Jurisdiction TCEQ and EPA Region 6

Gulf Coast smelter site with the largest chimney demolition in U.S. history. PNL was the Site Trustee and responsible for all phases of the project.

PNL Role
In late 2009, TCEQ selected Project Navigator’s Roberto Puga as the Site Trustee. Currently PNL is responsible for all phases of the project including: Community and Regulatory Outreach, Data Consolidation and Data Assessment, Site Demolition, Remediation and Site Disposition. Our responsibilities also include the management of all associated workplans and selected contractors.

Project Navigator, Ltd. is the Site Trustee for the former ASARCO Smelter Site. The Site is located within the city limits of El Paso, Texas and is on the U.S./Mexico border. The property is approximately 400 acres and is located within a mixed-use commercial/industrial area. PNL manages all phases of the project including Community and Regulatory Outreach, Data Consolidation and Data Assessment, Site Demolition, Remediation and Site Disposition.

Site remediation consists of 5 distinct phases: demolition, asset recovery, soils and surface water remedy, groundwater remedy and site disposition.

PNL maintains a website containing information about the project at

Technical Milestones

  • Sitewide Demolition: Facility demolition is on schedule and expected to be complete in the First Quarter 1. Demolition: Onsite infrastructure demolition was completed relatively quickly. However, the planning and implementation of the chimney demolition began in early 2013 and required significant coordination with public and private entities from the local, state, federal and international level due to the site’s location on the US-Mexico border. The chimney demolition planning culminated in the successful demolition of both chimneys in April 2013. This was the tallest chimney demolition event in U.S. history (~830ft).
  • Asset Recovery & Capitalization: PNL took a creative and innovative approach to recycling and waste management and sold these materials globally. The Trustee identified and sold an additional~$24.4MM in assets, which provided additional monies for remedial activities.
  • Soils & Surface Water Remedy: The remedy consists of the excavation of Category 1 (arsenic source) material, the restoration of Parker Brothers Arroyo, and installing an engineered cap.
  • Groundwater Remedy: The remedy includes Groundwater to Surface Water Diversion (keeping clean water clean), Point Source Removal and Treatment, and In-situ groundwater treatment.
  • Site Disposition: The Site is zoned for residential/commercial/industrial, and the Trustee is currently in discussions with the University of Texas El Paso regarding the purchase all of the properties for campus expansion.

Stakeholder Relations

  • Regular Public Meetings held to brief the community on Site Progress and Demolition.
  • The Site Trustee continues to meet regularly with community members, local city officials and state representatives.
  • Frequent interface with the national and local media.
  • Communication and coordination with the El Paso Fire Department and other City departments.
  • A public website was launched in early 2009 to host project information, site activities and incorporates community and stakeholder input.
  • Approved Community Relations Plan (CRP) and approved Community Assurance Plan (CAP) are available on the project website.
  • Creation of Site models to facilitate understanding of the phased demolition sequence.