DWAZ got involved in Hayden starting in 1997. We read through the files at the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality regarding the air permit for this town, which documented the high lung cancer rates and other serious health problems in the town.
In our involvement with Hayden, which now spans 15 years, much has happened. We helped the community organize a class action suit over health issues, especially when so many children had high levels of lead in their blood. ASARCO filed for bankruptcy after that, so folks did not get much for their health problems in the settlement that was reached.
Hayden is now a defacto Superfund site under EPA supervision (See http://yosemite.epa.gov/r9/sfund/r9sfdocw.nsf/BySite/Asarco%20Hayden%20Plant?OpenDocument ). ASARCO, under EPA direction, has removed soil from over 260 residential properties in Hayden and Winkelman between March 2008 to October 2009. These yards had high concentrations of arsenic, lead or copper. EPA investigated contamination of the soils, and is also monitoring the air in Hayden for a variety of toxic metals. EPA is conducting an enforcement action against ASARCO because EPA (and DWAZ) contends that ASARCO should have put better “controls” on to remove the lead and arsenic the smelter operation emits. These controls were required many years ago, but the corrupt ADEQ never made ASARCO install them, even when every other smelter in Arizona does have these advanced controls.
The latest significant event was the attention the town got in the special nationwide coverage on NPR when the Center for Public Integrity selected Hayden as one of the ten worst places in America in terms of environmental issues. See http://www.iwatchnews.org/2011/11/17/7430/smelter-town-decades-dirty-air-disease-and-bureaucratic-dawdling and http://www.tucsonsentinel.com/local/report/111711_epa_air_hayden/as-az-and-epa-clash-hayden-awaits-relief-from-toxic-air/ .