Saturday, September 29, 2007
[that is a good question for people along the Frontera facing the legacy of Asarco poison]
The Pentagon intends to challenge Wisconsin in regulating all forms of the explosive dinitrotoluene (DNT), Army officials announced on Monday.
Wisconsin is the first state in the nation to establish health-based guidelines for the pervasive military toxin that has contaminated groundwater and dozens of private wells near the Badger Army Ammunition Plant......." Website: www.cswab.org
Public Record request to TCEQ and questions to Terry McMillan about new water in Asarco Lake (between the Smelter cemetery and the overpass) IGNORED
To: Ms. Debbie Wahrmund
Please explain to me why my request for information (information newer than any of the records you have previously made available) is not a records request. I would like you to give me the legal reasons, please.
You sent me the letters I wrote to Mr. McMillan. In those letters I ask:
- "There is a lot of water at the site of the old natural ancient Asarco Lake, now. Has anyone taken water samples and analyzed the samples for ENCYCLE wastes? If not, why?"
- "I have not seen a single analysis from Asarco/TCEQ/EPA that shows that anything has been tested for the wide range of metals and chemicals that would have been incinerated/handled by Asarco from Encycle. We know that a report exists because Archie Clouse referred to it in an El Paso Times interview.I have been unable to get a copy - please explain why
In both, I am asking for current information -- information that has NOT BEEN GIVEN to me. Again, please give me the legal reasons why these are not PIA's ---why these requests for information (information newer than any of the records you have previously made available) are not records requests.
I am copying this to the two congressmen offices which have pushed for investigation of the ENCYCLE wastes that were burned in El Paso, TX at the Asarco smelter; and copying my list of media.
Why is the TCEQ, the EPA and Asarco so unwilling to hand over a full-analysis of the "lake"? or tell me that it has/hasn't been done?
(We'd also like to know why the TCEQ commissioners have not added the motion to overturn the Asarco stormwater permit to their Agenda when peoples from both nations have provided enough evidence to show that the permit should not be renewed.)
An historic moment in our city's political life. This was a call to action that broke through the apathy and the cynicism and the unwillingness to speak up on issues that matter.
The El Paso Times editorial page often laments the lack of political participation in our community, so I was surprised, dismayed, angry to see that 1,500 people's participation in a democratic process only warranted one inch of newsprint and no photo in the El Paso Times.
I am including the photo as part of this letter to the editor. I ask that you run it on your editorial page to show El Pasoans what the newsroom thinks is worth only one inch of newsprint.
And I ask that you consider that your newsroom might be contributing to apathy in our community by ignoring the democratic impulses that bring our community together and galvanize us towards action.
"Sept. 28, 2007, 10:40PM Asarco asks court to accept settlement" AP newswire "EL PASO, Texas — Asarco LLC said it filed a motion Friday in a Corpus Christi bankruptcy court asking a judge to accept a settlement of about $13.7 million with governmental environmental agencies for the cost of cleanups of lead and arsenic in the soil in some El Paso neighborhoods..."
[IBWC estimates it will cost 24 million ALONE to clean up contamination from Asarco beneath the old upper American Canal ... who will pay for the rest of the clean up? The Taxpayers - you and me. EPA, TCEQ and ASARCO will not disclose the Asarco POISONS that taxpayers will eventually have to pay to remove/dispose of from our Storm-water utility runoff/sludges. The innocent are left living in a pool of poisons while the previous Asarco Environmental Manager left the country for Peru (Asarco Southern Peru Copper company) cashing in Five Million dollars worth of stock options -- almost HALF OF WHAT ASARCO IS WILLING TO PAY YOU FOR CLEANUP HERE.]
Friday, September 28, 2007
It was a large crowd, we had a good day, and we waved goodbye to Asarco and stood as a group in the photo and no one paid any of us to be there.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Ah, David, why would you have a problem standing beside the treatment plant? It is only just above the canal that delivers a lot of our drinking water. Do you know something I don't know about that plant?
The Epgtlo blog is not the GTLO blog - that is www.gettheleadout.net. You can see that on the same fliers you mentioned. Please get your facts straight.
"I also heard that there was some interesting visa swapping in order to get some Juarez folks over the border."
Haven't heard this, David. Perhaps you should ask the people directly. Or are you relying on hearsay again?
Sign up for a google alert whenever "Asarco" appears. I have seen many pictures of the event because of the alert. You can always contact one of those bloggers for a better copy of their photo.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
We know that for nearly 10 years, Asarco illegally handled and burned toxic waste for big profits, and that they never told us. We know that our government hid that from us for eight years.
Some Asarco workers tell me that it never hurt them to work there; some tell me differently. But no Asarco workers have told me that they trusted Asarco to tell them what went through that plant -- even two people who tested the material for the metals that Asarco wanted to smelt.
We've been lied to by Asarco, the TCEQ and the EPA.
Now the toxins are hidden in the water pumped up the mountain and sent to the city. They are in the dust stirred up in our air, and the rain streaming off our properties. We'll carry the lie as a silent random poison in our lungs, our bones and our bodies and some of it may pass to unborn children from the mothers.
It is time to end the lie, close the smelter, demand honest services from our government and begin the long process of cleanup.
By: Fernie Castillo (text and photo-credits)
"Members of the community gathered in white T-shirts on Sept. 26 for a photo that will be sent to Governor Richard Perry to persuade officials not to grant ASARCO its air permit renewal."
ETHNICITY AND CLASS ARE NOT THE ISSUES HERE however hard he tries to "re-frame" it that way -- the toxins that Asarco, the TCEQ and EPA are hiding do not discriminate between classes or races. The poisons affect us all.
Why is it so difficult to write about the secret EPA document that the DOJ released? It can be hard to face facts...
"September 24, 2007
Update on ASARCO story - Classes, ethiciities at war?
UPDATE: I watched the video of the event rom KFOX (http://www.kfoxtv.com/video/14186394/index.html)
Monday, September 24, 2007
The anti-ASARCO crowd is quietly claiming a successful "Faces Against ASARCO" outing this past Sunday. Paul Strelzin, who is a part of their media machine, made sure to focus on the turnout of the pro-ASARCO crowd and less on the anti-ASARCO. I guess the anti-ASARCO group's turnout wasn't worth talking about? [not when Asarco had to PAY their participants 50$ each to show up!] They said they'd have 25,000 people and I've heard numbers from 500 to 1000. Not quite a big turnout.
ASARCO's guest were invited specifically for the commercial they were doing. I saw no call to the public from them, so I didn't expect them to have a bunch of folks.
As for the anti-ASARCO folks, I think they need to rethink their message that all of El Paso wants ASARCO to remain closed. If you give them the higher of the two reported numbers (1000) and you divide that by our estimated population of around 600,000 you get .0016 percent. That means that less than 1% of the people of El Paso cared to gather against ASARCO. So much for "all of El Paso" caring enough about ASARCO to show up in opposition of it. [um, how about recalculating that percentage by the number of people living within the 3 mile EPA official contamination area??]
I think we've been led to believe that there are all kinds of regular El Pasoans up in arms over the opening of ASARCO, when it's obvious that it's only a core group of people who consider themselves "activists." [I would say that Refuse-the-juice classifies as an activist the same as anyone else ... so why imply that being active on community issues is a bad name?] It's the same group who says "no" to everything. They are trying to create a situation where a vocal minority controls the quiet majority. [does this mean that since only a few people in our community are "rich" that those will "create a situation like opening the smelter where a vocal minority (the rich) controls the quiet majority (the ill, the unborn, the babies and the aged)???] Let's hope they are not successful." [Amen, David, the rich shouldn't get off Scot-free from paying their environmental liabilities off or being responsible citizens]
[still no mention of the Toxic waste burning? Why not? Don't want El Pasoans to know?]
"Faces against of Asarco" photo event. Around 5:30, we assembled on land owned by CEMEX at the intersection of I-10 East and Executive Center. Photographs were shot from a crane until about 6:45. We got to see a lot of good friends: Lee, Bobby, and Johnny Byrd; representatives Beto O'Rourke (with new baby) and Suzie Byrd, her husband Eddie Holland, all the little Holland-Byrds; and Rosie Salazar (she's fine, working two jobs). Also, I got to speak to Sen. Eliot Shapleigh (we talked about giving the feds hell about the state of the Ft. Bliss National Cemetery), stood near Nancy from Bordersenses, and was happy to see Mayor John Cook there as well. In all, many, many old and new friends stood in solidarity against Asarco.
All in all it was a great day (impending storm and all) as I believe well over a couple of thousand people stood, raised their hands together to send a message to Austin and wave good bye to Asarco. Thanks to CEMEX for letting us assemble on their land, the EPPD, Ardovino's Desert Crossing (Charlie’s idea for the pix), and all who stood for a very important message: we do not need, nor do we want Asarco to reopen its smelting operations in El Paso, Texas."
"After hearing Guitar Slim I drove over to the west side of El Paso where there was what to me was the largest demonstration I have ever been involved in. Here in El Paso, Texas the large and heavily polluting ASARCO copper smelter wants to re-open. There were probably 5,000 participants there. Maybe more. It was an interesting group of people. Virtually everyone was either in their late teens to early twenties, or old farts with grey hair who remembered how terrible the air pollution was prior to the smelter closing down.
The mayors of El Paso and Anthony were there as anti-ASARCO demonstration participants. I met a guy who teaches linguistics at UT El Paso and had a nice chat. The artist Hal Marcus was also there.
The neatest guy I met was a fellow who had a long full grey beard much like my own. His name sounded like “Q” the evil fellow on Star Trek, but I finally got it right as Pew. Like myself he grew up in El Paso, and recently lived 20 years in Europe working. He lived in Germany about 50 miles east of my house in Cologne, Germany. He worked for the symphony there. He had also worked for the one in Frankfurt. I really can’t say I am a real symphony buff, but I have attended symphonies at the opera houses in Liege, Belgium, Cologne and Frankfurt. Another example of “Wow, what a small world.”
After the demonstration was finished and I was driving away I took this picture. ... H Paul Garland at 8:22 AM"
Sunday, September 23, 2007
"Sunday, September 23, 2007
Stand against ASARCO
They say a picture's worth a thousand words. I sure hope so. There was a demonstration today to photograph protesters at the foot of the Asarco smelter to put in the hands of the governor. Many hope this will help sway the reopening of this environmental hazard in the community's favor. It was great to see many people from my neighborhood and the surrounding area at the rally.
The local copper smelter has been a part of this city's existence for the last 120 or so years. It helped spur it's rapid growth, but as the community grew so did the health dangers literally in their backyard. My neighborhood is situated in the shadow of one of the tallest smokestacks in the world. The smelter has been closed down since the 90's. However, the community is in danger once again as Asarco is seeking to regain permission to start up operations this fall. For those of you who haven't seen this monolith, it is huge. And it is equally out of place in the middle of an international community of 3 million people. Hopefully the TCEQ (which will be ruling on this issue) will vote in favor of the community. Our livelihoods and the positive momentum of the region depends on it.
More info about the rally HERE."
Thank you, Asarco, for putting it into our river and our aquifer??
Thank you Asarco for this great news that re-opening a smelter next to our drinking water is good science???
Newspaper Tree - El Paso,TX,USA
However, on Sunday, September 23, thousands of El Pasoans--family, friends and neighbors opposed to the re-opening of Asarco--will gather together in a ...