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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Asarco water contamination costs are picked up by you, the Taxpayer....

We discovered that Asarco rewrote their Storm water permit Notice of Intent last summer to discharge to a city storm water system (we had an MS4 ("municipal separate storm sewer system") but Asarco had always claimed to be zero runoff - we had no storm water utility).

What then happened is that state and federal representatives went to their legislative bodies and got funding passed for City storm water system this past winter, because of the big 500-yr flood of AUG-2006.

Then, the City/County in spring this year in an un-televised 10'th floor City Council special meeting [City Council member Ms. Byrd told me that this meeting was audio-recorded] voted to authorize a Storm Water district, funded by the taxpayers. Taxpayers will not vote on this during elections.

No one has told the taxpayers that the unsampled/undisclosed toxic waste that runs off into the storm system will transfer liability now from Asarco to the taxpayers.

The Federal/TX general sector storm water permit was automatically renewed and authorized by TCEQ on June-25-2007 from the NOI (notice of intent) filed end of Aug-2006 by Asarco. Any Motions to Overturn must be submitted by 5 pm Austin time, tomorrow 7-23-07.

Just like the City-contracted Attorney, Erich Birch [whom I respect, but also respectfully disagree with], ignored the Federal Title V permit renewal last summer, not notifying local groups to send in comments/filing nothing; the renewal of the water permits have been ignored. The only permit being fought is the air emissions permit - and those emissions are worth cash-money on the commodities trading market as "emission credits" internationally to whomever owns them [I confirmed this with an International Sierra Club expert on such credits, sending them the list of Asarco allowable emissions]. We cannot find out who those credits go to if Asarco loses its permit.

In front of our own eyes, unknown sometimes to us, Asarco's environmental liabilities/costs are being "shed" and the company is emerging as a renewed-entity, with no liability for the toxic waste left unreported in the Paso del Norte region.
[thank you, Susie - I updated it per your email 7/24]

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