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EPA's Region 6 Office

Serving: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and 66 Tribal Nations

El Paso County/Dona Ana County Metals

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Current Activities as of 2008

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in cooperation with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the New Mexico Environment Department, the City of El Paso, the City of Sunland Park, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry and the Texas Department of State Health Services is continuing to address issues related to the cleanup of contaminated soils in El Paso, Texas and Sunland Park, New Mexico. As of 2008 EPA had cleaned up over 1,000 properties in El Paso in order to protect the public health and the environment.

There are approximately 150 properties remaining to be remediated in the El Paso area under the EPA’s removal program. The removals have been prioritized in general with the site prioritization process.  ASARCO began cleanup of El Paso properties in August 2005.  They completed cleanup of 473 properties by late 2007.

ASARCO resumed cleanup of properties starting August 2007 through ASARCO’s contractor with EPA present for oversight.  There were 149 properties remediated in this phase. Properties are remediated by the removal of up to two feet of contaminated soils from yards, backfilled with clean soils, and replacement of yard landscaping to pre-removal conditions. This phase of the remediation was completed by December, 2007.

Sunland Park/Anapra

The EPA has worked closely with New Mexico environmental agencies to further define site boundaries, and site related options for the Sunland Park/Anapra areas. Community officials will be kept updated on site activities. Clean-up of 24 properties in this area was completed in August 2007.

What's Next

The EPA will continue to discuss the role of "potentially responsible parties," or PRPs, to require them to conduct or pay for the cleanup. The EPA will also continue to prioritize properties in preparation for future cleanup in 2008 and beyond.

The EPA and its partner agencies will continue to review available options to fund and complete the cleanup of the areas in El Paso still needing remediation.  The EPA and its partner agencies will also continue to provide information to residents and local elected officials on site activities through future meetings, health education and outreach.

Site background

The site was brought to the attention of EPA and the State in 2001 by State Senator Eliot Shapleigh and the El Paso Soils Workgroup.  Agencies began testing high access public areas in a three-mile radius of the border of Texas and New Mexico, as well as in Mexico near the American canal.  The EPA along with its State and City partners have conducted ongoing sampling, removal, and restoration programs over the past three years in the northern, west central and, southern areas of El Paso. The public has been kept informed through numerous community and stakeholder meetings and fact sheets. Throughout these efforts, agencies have advised area citizens who have concerns about lead exposure to have their children’s blood tested at local agencies or physicians.

For Spanish version, click here.

Remediation Complete El Paso County Survey Map (PDF, 1 pp, 316K)

Indoor Sampling Report for El Paso County Metals Survey Site - Designated Residences in Segundo Barrio, Chihuahuita, Kern Place, Rio Grande, and Sunset Heights (PDF, 57 pp, 225K)

EL Paso Neighborhoods Map (PDF, 1 pp, 44K)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Phase 3 Assessment Report (PDF, 164 pp, 658K)

Appendix A - D Final Site Assessment Report (PDF, 8 pp, 3.9MB)

Removal Assessment Report (PDF, 308 pp, 10.1MB)

Quality Assurance Sampling Plan Response Plan (PDF, 48 pp, 758K)

Soils Survey - Residential Locations (PDF, 1 pp, 396K)

Sampling Report (PDF, 53 pp, 197K)

Sampling Photos (PDF, 45 pp, 1.6MB)

Overview Map (PDF, 1 pp, 2.5MB)


Action Memorandum (PDF, 11 pp, 265K)

Texas Department of State Health Services Health Consultations and Educational Materials Exit EPA

ATSDR Arsenic ToxFAQs Exit EPA
ATSDR Case Studies in Environmental Medicine - Lead Exit EPA

Study on the Source of Anomalous Lead and Arsenic Concentrations in Soils from the El Paso Community (PDF, 63 pp, 1.2MB)

Relative Bioavailability of Arsenic in Soils from El Paso County (PDF, 18 pp, 273K)

Relative Bioavailability of Arsenic in Soils from El Paso County - Tables and Figures (PDF, 20 pp, 764K)

Determination of In Vitro Bioaccessible Arsenic in Soils and Slags from Weston Solutions, Inc. (PDF, 11 pp, 27K)

Determination of In Vitro Bioaccessible Arsenic in Soils and Slags from Weston Solutions, Inc. - Tables (PDF, 8 pp, 20K)

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