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Region 7 Air Program

Serving Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and 9 Tribal Nations


ASARCO Omaha Lead Redesignation Plan

Background of the Plan: The area surrounding the ASARCO Lead Smelter in Omaha, Nebraska, was designated as nonattainment for lead on January 6, 1992. In 1995, the facility announced that rather than implementing the remainder of the estimated $40 million control strategy needed to attain the ambient air lead standard, it would be scaling back operations, ultimately leading to a permanent shutdown. The Asarco - Omaha facility ceased operations on December 31, 1997, and began the process of demolition under the Nebraska Remedial Action Plan Monitoring Act (RAPMA) program. Demolition activity was completed in late 1999.

Summary of the Plan: The redesignation plan requested that EPA redesignate this area to attainment based on monitored data (the area has attained the lead standard since 1997), and because the major lead source in the nonattainment area has been demolished and the area surrounding the source has been reclaimed.

A maintenance plan to address future operational controls was determined not to be appropriate since the only major source of lead in this nonattainment area has been permanently closed and demolished. Any new source which may be interested in constructing in this area would be required to meet the state's minor new source preconstruction rules and Prevention of Significant Deterioration of air quality rules.

Emission Reductions: This facility reported 403.9 tons of toxic air emissions from 1987 to 1997. These toxic emissions included antimony, arsenic, chlorine, copper, lead, silver, and zinc compounds. As a result of the closure and demolition of this facility, release of toxic chemicals to water and land are also reduced. During the same time period, Asarco - Omaha reported toxic releases of 42.2 tons to water and 17.2 tons to land.

Attainment Date: Redesignation to attainment for the lead standard was effective on June 19, 2001 (66 FR 20196, April 20, 2001).

EPA Region 7 Contact: Joshua Tapp, (913) 551-7606, tapp.joshua@epa.gov

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