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"THE ONLY THING NECESSARY FOR THE TRIUMPH OF EVIL IS FOR GOOD MEN TO DO NOTHING"
--Burke

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Correspondence from 1-14-07 through 2-16-07 trying to get release of Robstown US Ecology Asarco manifests, waste profiles and chemical analyses from Stephanie Bergeron, TCEQ Austin

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [Fwd: American Canal cont., and request for letter to US Ecology from TCEQ]
Date: Fri, 16 Feb 2007 08:53:33 -0600
From: Stephanie Bergeron <SBERGERO@tceq.state.tx.us>
To: <heamc[at]earthlink.net>, "Javier Martinez" <Javier.Martinez[at]mail.house.gov>, <thornton.wood[at]oag.state.tx.us>, "Andrea Casey" <ACasey[at]tceq.state.tx.us>, "Celeste Baker" <CBAKER[at]tceq.state.tx.us>, "Charles Stokes" <CSTOKES[at]tceq.state.tx.us>, "Jim Hay" <JHAY[at]tceq.state.tx.us>, "John Davis" <JODAVIS[at]tceq.state.tx.us>, "WWW - WWW - WWW - OPA" <OPA[at]tceq.state.tx.us>, "Rosalinda Escalon" <RESCALON[at]tceq.state.tx.us>, "Ronnie Morgan" <RMORGAN[at]tceq.state.tx.us>, "Sharmein White" <SHWHITE[at]tceq.state.tx.us>, "Vickie Stone" <VStone[at]tceq.state.tx.us>


Heather,
 
Late yesterday I attempted to email documents described below but again I received an error message (attached) that delivery was unsuccessful.  Accordingly, we will mail a copy (and waive costs) of documents to you.
 
Thank you - Stephanie
*********************************************************************
Heather,
 
As mentioned, attached please find waste profiles and manifests for shipments made from ASARCO El Paso to US Ecology in Robstown in 2006.
 
Thanks - Stephanie
*****************************************************************
Hi Heather,
 
You have requested information relating to "material dredged from the ponds this summer (2006)/dried in the bedding building/and then sent for disposal to US Ecology near Corpus Christi, to you at TCEQ." You also stated the requested information is "not the stormwater containment pond(s)." Rather, "it is the 100+ year old pond in the center of the complex."  
 
To address your concern that the agency has not responded to your request, we contacted US Ecology and requested all manifests and profiles for waste received by US Ecology from ASARCO/El Paso in 2006. 
 
US Ecology has copied the documents and will be providing them to the Corpus regional office.  We will notify you when we have received documents to address how to make them available for your review.
 
Thank you - Stephanie


Subject:
Message status - undeliverable
From:
Mailer-Daemon[at]smtpgate.tceq.state.tx.us
Date:
Thu, 15 Feb 2007 16:50:22 -0600
To:
SBERGERO[at]tceq.state.tx.us

The attached file had the following undeliverable recipient(s): 	heamc[at]earthlink.net  Transcript of session follows: 	  Command:  MAIL FROM:<SBERGERO[at]tceq.state.tx.us> 	  Response: 552 Message size 20975471 exceeds limits 14680064 	
 
Received: from GATEDOM-MTA by smtpgate.tceq.state.tx.us with Novell_GroupWise; Thu, 15 Feb 2007 16:50:19 -0600 Message-Id: <s5d48f4b.045[at]smtpgate.tceq.state.tx.us> X-Mailer: Novell GroupWise Internet Agent 6.5.6 Date: Thu, 15 Feb 2007 16:49:47 -0600 From: "Stephanie Bergeron" <SBERGERO[at]tceq.state.tx.us> To: <heamc[at]earthlink.net>, "Javier Martinez" <Javier.Martinez[at]mail.house.gov>, <thornton.wood[at]oag.state.tx.us>, "Andrea Casey" <ACasey[at]tceq.state.tx.us>, "Celeste Baker" <CBAKER[at]tceq.state.tx.us>, "Charles Stokes" <CSTOKES[at]tceq.state.tx.us>, "Jim Hay" <JHAY[at]tceq.state.tx.us>, "John Davis" <JODAVIS[at]tceq.state.tx.us>, "WWW - WWW - WWW - OPA" <OPA[at]tceq.state.tx.us>, "Rosalinda Escalon" <RESCALON[at]tceq.state.tx.us>, "Ronnie Morgan" <RMORGAN[at]tceq.state.tx.us>, "Sharmein White" <SHWHITE[at]tceq.state.tx.us>, "Vickie Stone" <VStone[at]tceq.state.tx.us> Subject: Re: [Fwd: American Canal cont., and request for letter to US Ecology from TCEQ] Heather, As mentioned, attached please find waste profiles and manifests for shipments made from ASARCO El Paso to US Ecology in Robstown in 2006. Thanks - Stephanie ***************************************************************** Hi Heather, You have requested information relating to "material dredged from the ponds this summer (2006)/dried in the bedding building/and then sent for disposal to US Ecology near Corpus Christi, to you at TCEQ." You also stated the requested information is "not the stormwater containment pond(s)." Rather, "it is the 100+ year old pond in the center of the complex." To address your concern that the agency has not responded to your request, we contacted US Ecology and requested all manifests and profiles for waste received by US Ecology from ASARCO/El Paso in 2006.

>>> <heamc[at]earthlink.net> 2/5/2007 12:53 PM >>>
Hi, Stephanie,

Please write the letter to Mr. Ipsen and quit dodging.

Regional Office follow up is not what I asked for and will not get the job done.  The report should have been on file with my state regulatory agency already and it is not - that is the responsibility of TCEQ Austin, who fined US Ecology in Robstown just last summer.   The lack of information on file with TCEQ is keeping me from accessing this data under open records and I don't appreciate this continued run-around.

I have gotten a public commitment from my State Senator about this request.  I want a letter from TCEQ Austin asking for that report,  and I want access to it under open records, as a citizen living 3 miles from that dredged site.

Please write this letter to Mr. Wayne R. Ipsen, Corporate Counsel at the American Ecology Corporation Fax 208.331.7900 in Corpus Christi (Robstown, TX) and formally ask him to release the Waste Product Questionnaire, identifying analysis, and any applicable Material safety data sheets from the material dredged from the ponds this summer (2006)/dried in the bedding building/and then sent for disposal to US Ecology near Corpus Christi, to you at TCEQ.

I do not want to release the name or date of letter to you without written-assurances that the author at TCEQ will not have any retaliatory action taken against them at the agency for releasing honest information to me.

I am bc'ing this email to interested parties, including press contacts.  I want to know what is in the material dredged from that central 100 year old pond, 3 miles from my house and above my drinking-water-supply (the old upper american canal).  And I don't appreciate the hedging or stalling from TCEQ legal.  If you won't write the letter then someone else on this distribution list should be writing it - Mr. McCalla, Mr. Stokes, Mr. Harrison, Ms. Baker.  To pass it along to Regional (Mr. Clouse) is unacceptable when the Asarco illegal hazardous waste burning and cover-up was done at the highest levels of TCEQ and EPA; and, this chemical analysis will show what the TCEQ and EPA are hiding.

We are tired of the cover-up, we are tired of not being told what was burned, and what metal(s) are being hidden.  We are tired of seeing inept data reports, like recent ones showing extremely high strontium levels released from storm ponds at Asarco, but no follow-up by TCEQ to ask which isotopes of strontium.   If anyone on the distribution list is not helping us uncover what it is, then you are part of the cover-up in my opinion; and, liable for those actions. 

Heather McMurray



Stephanie Bergeron wrote:
I will have our regional office follow up again with US Ecology.  Do you have a date for the TCEQ document/communication in your possession?
 
Thank you - Stephanie
 
** Attorney Client Communication **

>>> <heamc[at]earthlink.net> 2/5/2007 11:39 AM >>>
Dear Ms. Bergeron,
I have a TCEQ communication in my possession stating that dredged material was shipped to American Ecology in Robstown TX (US Ecology). I have communicated with that company, and they will not release the manifest and chemical analysis.

Now you want me to believe that the shipment never was made?  This was *NOT* the stormwater containment pond(s).  This was the 100+ year old pond in the center of the complex.  The material was removed long ago, and dried in the bedding building before it was shipped out.  I have been trying to get a copy of the analysis since last summer -- almost six months, now.  That is unacceptable and the hedging and problems-emailing are transparent.

All you have to do is write a letter to American Ecology (US Ecology) in Robstown (the same site you fined last year) and request a copy of the information that TCEQ is allowed to legally acquire, being our State regulatory body.   The company DOES have that information and I want a copy of it through TCEQ under open records law.

It was shipped to Robstown, I want a copy of the chemical analysis, and I want honest services.



-------- Original Message --------
Subject: American Canal cont., and request for letter to US Ecology from TCEQ
Date: Mon, 05 Feb 2007 10:20:49 -0600
From: Stephanie Bergeron <SBERGERO[at]tceq.state.tx.us>
To: <heamc[at]earthlink.net>
CC: Javier Martinez <Javier.Martinez[at]mail.house.gov>, <thornton.wood[at]oag.state.tx.us>, WWW - WWW - OPA <OPA[at]tceq.state.tx.us>


I have just been advised by our IR staff, that the PDF documents that I was trying to send are apparently what is resulting in undeliverable error message.  We will mail these to you.
 
Thank you - Stephanie
********************************************************************
Due to error messages indicating that the email exceeds text limits, I am re-sending emails that are limited only to the most recent inquiry and our response. 
 
Thank you - Stephanie
**************************************************************************
Hi Heather,
 
As noted in my 1/19/07 email, I stated I would follow up concerning your request for information regarding dredged material from the ASARCO ponds. 

 

After we received your email, we ran a report of our database regarding waste sent from ASARCO to US Ecology.  Based upon our review, we did not locate shipments of dredged material from ASARCO to US Ecology.  We also contacted US Ecology in Corpus and verified that they have not yet received stormwater pond dredged material.   Attached for your review is ASARCO’s Notice of Registration (NOR) and US Ecology’s List of Shipments received from ASARCO.  Let me know if you would like to have an agency employee go through these documents with you.

 

The dredged material from the stormwater ponds remains on-site and has not yet been sent to US Ecology for disposal.  Dredging activity was not completed until late November due to the stormwater events in August and September; the water in the ponds had to evaporate before dredging could continue.  Appropriate waste characterization must be conducted on generated wastes and waste must be shipped under hazardous waste manifest.  These documents are available for agency review when we conduct on-site investigations at generating facilities. 

 

Thank you,

 

Stephanie

 
*************************************************************************
Hi Heather,
 
In response to your first concern, I believe you may be to referring to water quality data which was provided to you in response to your request for information on 12/16/05 regarding "all information concerning the EPA, TCEQ and 'other agencies' handling of the 4-Sept-06 spill of the stormwater containment pond."  We do not have information concerning the exposure of the water supply to ASARCO groundwater contamination by the collapse of the canal panels which is what I believe you originally requested.  If there was any misunderstanding of your original request on our part, I apologize for that.  We have endeavored to be responsive and acted in good faith to your requests for public information.
 
With regard to your request for information regarding dredged material from the ASARCO ponds sent to US Ecology for disposal, we will contact the facility.  I will follow up once I have further information.
 
Thank you,
 
Stephanie

>>> <heamc[at]earthlink.net> 1/14/2007 4:13 AM >>>
Dear Ms. Bergeron,
I have just received data from the TCEQ regarding the water quality data due to recent shifting of the slabs for the American canal.  The data specifies the same distance above and below the collapsed slabs and shows the increase in metals below that point.   This data was available since at least 9/4/06 but you said that the TCEQ did not have any data.


Please review the records again and send me any information regarding water quality in the old upper american canal as impacted by those collapsed panels, any leaking panels, and the recent '06 storm runoff.  I have the material sent from our regional office. I took photos of runoff from the Asarco property entering a public street and onto Paisano - which was later cleared by TXDOT vehicles.  Asarco's waste and storm-water permit does not allow the company to direct storm-water to a street, because the company never specified that this would happen. 

I am also concerned because I have been trying to get a copy of a chemical analysis that is available to the TCEQ but not available under open records (TCEQ says it doesn't have it) and the US Ecology company Counsel refuses to release it without a formal letter from the TCEQ.  The TCEQ is allowed to have a copy as the environmental regulatory body.

Would you write this letter to Mr. Wayne R. Ipsen, Corporate Counsel at the American Ecology Corporation Fax 208.331.7900 in Corpus Christi (Robstown, TX) and formally ask him to release the Waste Product Questionnaire, identifying analysis, and any applicable Material safety data sheets from the material dredged from the ponds this summer (2006)/dried in the bedding building/and then sent for disposal to US Ecology near Corpus Christi, to you at TCEQ so that you in turn could release a copy to me under the TX open records law?  I find it very distressing that it is so difficult for a citizen living only three miles from that dredged-pond to get a copy of the chemical analysis of the pond dredgings, that are supposed to be stored in the public view.

If you can't write the letter, please explain why. 

thank you,
Heather Mcmurray
El Paso, TX


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