United Verde Soil Program

The United Verde Soil Program (UVSP) is a soil remediation program being undertaken by Freeport Minerals Corporation (Freeport) to address elevated metals concentrations in soil on properties near the former United Verde Copper Company (United Verde) smelter in Clarkdale, AZ. The program is being coordinated under the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality's (ADEQ) Voluntary Remediation Program.

United Verde operated a copper smelter in northwest Clarkdale from 1915 to 1932. The smelter reopened in 1935 when Phelps Dodge Corporation purchased United Verde and continued to operate until 1953, when smelter operations ceased on a permanent basis. Freeport is the successor to Phelps Dodge Corporation. Because the copper smelter operated in an era before emissions control equipment was commonly used, historical air emissions from the smelter deposited metal-bearing particles on nearby soil. The metals that are being evaluated in this program are associated with the United Verde/Jerome ore body and include arsenic, copper and lead.

Under the United Verde Soil Program, owners of eligible properties within a defined Study Area will be contacted by Freeport representatives and have the opportunity to have soil on their properties sampled and tested for elevated concentrations of arsenic, copper, and lead. Common property types that are eligible for this program include developed residential, non-residential (e.g. commercial), and public (e.g. schools, parks, and Town of Clarkdale) properties. If concentrations of one or more of the metals exceed approved soil cleanup levels, Freeport will remove and replace the impacted soil and restore the landscaping to similar condition. All of this work will be conducted at no cost to the property owner and all participation is strictly voluntary.

As of April 2018, 75% of the 1,141 property owners who have been contacted about the program have voluntarily agreed to participate in the soil sampling phase of the UVSP. Of the owners whose soils have shown elevated concentrations of metals, 85% have authorized soil clean up on their property. Participation rates for soil clean-up continue to increase each month.

The Town of Clarkdale has established this web page in order to provide the public with updated information on the United Verde Soil Program. The page includes links to information, including documents that Freeport has submitted to ADEQ relating to the program, maps, Press Releases, Monthly Project Summary Reports, etc. This website will be updated frequently with new information, so check back often for updates.

For more information, contact:

  • Freeport Minerals Corporation
    Joe Brunner
    Director, Discontinued Operations
    Clarkdale Office Phone: 928-649-3614
  • Town of Clarkdale
    Phone: 928-639-2400
  • Arizona Department of Environmental Quality
    Voluntary Remediation Program
    John Patriki, Project Manager
    Phone: 602-771-4397

United Verde Soil Project Monthly ADEQ Reports