ASARCO has reached an agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to spend up to $13.5 million on contaminated yard cleanups in Hayden and Winkelman, Ariz. In addition, the Tucson-based mining, smelting and refining company is required to complete a Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study to determine the full extent of soil contamination and identify cleanup techniques, according to an EPA press release.
The EPA and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality will oversee all of ASARCO’s operations to ensure compliance with the agreement. ASARCO agreed to remove arsenic, lead and copper contaminated soil. The agreement further requires ASARCO to conduct additional cleanups, as necessary, ensure full and final completion of the work and to fully reimburse the EPA and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality for expenses related to oversee ASARCO’s work, the press release said.
The agreement will become effective upon approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, because ASARCO had filed for bankruptcy, and following a 20-day public comment period after publication of notice in the Federal Register.
The ASARCO Hayden Plant site is an active copper ore processing, concentrating and smelter facility with properties in Hayden and Winkelman. The EPA collected air and soil samples in Hayden and Winkelman after the EPA and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality discovered elevated levels of arsenic, lead and copper in previous sampling. In addition, ASARCO operates an overland conveyor that directs ore from the crusher to the mill building for processing while passing over some of Hayden’s residential streets, according to the EPA press release.