knowing what ASARCO is....


The American Smelting and Refining Company (ASARCO) was founded by Robert Safford Towne in 1887 as a mining complex in parts of Colorado and a lead smelter in Montana. In 1899, it found its way to El Paso, Texas, where a lead plant was built. It has been a part of El Paso and its history since then.

ASARCO was El Paso’s largest industrial company from its establishment in the 1800’s (White, Murga, and Rodriguez 1) until it closed in 1999. It once served the city by reducing the price of copper and bringing jobs; but the people of El Paso paid a high price for its presence. It contributed extreme levels of pollution to the El Paso/ Ciudad Juarez, Mexico metroplex. “Clouds of smoke and noxious odors extended for miles and miles.” (White, Murga, and Rodriguez 1) and, in time, jeopardized the health of those who worked there or were within its proximity.