In Clarkdale, Arizona, the Camp Verde Bugle
- With about 80 percent of eligible property owners in the original targeted area agreeing to a soil remediation program to test, remove and replace soil affected by historical smelter operations, Freeport Minerals Corporation has announced plans to expand the program.
According to John Patricki, project manager for the voluntary remediation program, the original study area of Upper Clarkdale, Lower Clarkdale and Patio Park will now be expanded to include the Mountain Gate, Centerville, Palisades and Panorama neighborhoods.
The soil testing has the oversight of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and the Yavapai-Apache Nation Environmental Protection Agency. The Clarkdale copper smelter was operated by the United Verde Copper Company from 1915 to 1932 and by Phelps Dodge Corporation from 1935 to 1953. As the corporate successor to Phelps Dodge Corporation, Freeport Minerals entered into the ADEQ Voluntary Remediation Program to investigate potential impacts to soil from historical smelter operations.
“Our initial study area focused on properties near the former smelter, including the neighborhoods of Upper Clarkdale, Lower Clarkdale, and Patio Park,” said Patricki. “As of February 2017, more than 500, or about 80 percent, of eligible property owners have signed up for the program, and we have collected thousands of soil samples from those properties.”
Based on the sampling results from the study area, Patricki said Freeport has expanded the study area to include the neighborhoods of Mountain Gate, Centerville, Palisades and Panorama located south of the initial study area.
Freeport officials previously explained that the process for determining the need for soil remediation includes taking samples of 6-inch depths down to 2-feet that are then averaged together to determine whether "compounds contaminants of concern" exceed the threshold to prompt remedial work. Soil samples have been sent to an independent laboratory and tested to determine the concentrations of arsenic, copper, lead, tin, zinc, and boron in the soil.