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

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Texas Observer article on County Attorney investigation of Asarco

No Wall Will Stop the Wave

Texas Observer - Austin,TX,USA


Litle has extremely quick response to ACORN press release - and no one is talking about the unknown TOXIC WASTE

ACORN v. Asarco
http://newspapertree.com/news/1819-acorn-v-asarco

by NPT Staff

Dueling news releases from ACORN and from Asarco.

Posted on November 16, 2007

Editor's note: NPT received these two news releases, the first from the group ACORN Thursday Nov. 15, 2007, the second from Asarco the following day

***

Nov. 15, Acorn

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, November 15, 2007 Contact:
Jose Manuel Escobedo, Head Organizer

EPA to Adopt New Lead Air Standards in 2008
Health professionals weigh in on new rules impact on
Asarco application for air quality permit

EL PASO – The US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) lead expert panel has set standards more protective of public health. These new standards will directly impact Asarco’s Air Permit Application. Below is a summary of these impacts over the next ten months.

1. EPA is under a court order to adopt a new final lead air standard by September 1, 2008.

2. The new lead air standard will be no higher than 0.2 ug/m^3 and as low as 0.05 ug/m^3. The current standard is 1.5 ug/m^3.

3. ASARCO's newest air model said it would meet the highest end of the new lead standard, but it also suggests that ASARCO will have no margin of safety and the new lead air standard could be tighter than ASARCO's air modeling of 0.2 ug/m^3 meaning the smelter can not comply.

4. The new EPA lead air standard may be based on monthly averaging which would be more protective and more stringent than the current Lead NAAQS using quarterly averaging. ASARCO's air modeling is based on quarterly averaging and not monthly averaging.

5. The EPA is planning to issue the new lead proposal in March 2008, to
provide the public ample time to comment. Public comment period will
follow later in the spring.

6. EPA is required by a consent decree to issue a public proposal regarding the
lead standards by May 1, 2008.

WHO: El Paso County Medical Society, ACORN, Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid, representative from Senator Shapleigh’s office and available for questions via phone: Neil Carmen, Clean Air Program Director, Lone Star Chapter – Sierra Club, Philip Landrigan, MD, MSc – Chair, Department of Community and Preventative Medicine, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine

WHAT: Press Conference: Impact of new EPA rules on Asarco application for air permit
WHEN: Friday, November 16th, 1:30 PM
WHERE: 220 Lawton. Corner of Lawton and Mundy, outside of Vilas School
IN CASE OF RAIN: At the gazebo at Mundy Park at Porfirio Diaz and Yandell
WHY: To discuss impact of new EPA rules on Asarco application for air permit

###

ACORN is the nation's largest community organization of low- and – moderate income families, with over 300,000 member families organized into 800 neighborhood chapters in 108 cities across the country. Since 1970 ACORN has taken action and won victories on issues of concern to our members, including better housing for first-time homebuyers and tenants, living wages for low-wage workers, more investment in our communities from banks and governments, and better public schools.

***

Nov. 16, Asarco

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 16, 2007

For additional information:

Teresa Montoya

Montoya PR

ASARCO’S RESPONSE TO

“ACORN ON NEW EPA AIR STANDARDS APPLIED TO ASARCO”

From Robert “Bob” Litle, El Paso Plant Manager

The same small group of opponents continues to use scare tactics and misinformation in their campaign against Asarco.

The facts are:

1. It is old news that the EPA is reviewing the current National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for lead for the entire country, not just El Paso. The NAAQS are air quality standards established to be protective of the most vulnerable populations – senior citizens and children.

2. El Paso’s air is already far better than the current NAAQS for lead. In fact, El Paso has been in attainment for lead since the mid-eighties.

3. Asarco’s allowable emissions are better than the current standard and better than ACORN’S numbers presented in their press release according to the most extensive air modeling ever completed which encompasses 30 miles of our plant including El Paso, Juarez, and New Mexico.

4. The scientific data shows that there will not be any negative health effects from Asarco’s allowable lead emissions.

***

Nov. 16, Acorn

EPA to Adopt New Lead Air Standards in 2008
Health professionals weigh in on new rules impact on
Asarco application for air quality permit

In a Follow up to today’s press conference outlining how new EPA rules will affect Asarco’s air permit application, we add the following comments:

As we know, the EPA is recommending a new, stricter standard that may be as low as .05 micrograms per cubic meter and as high as .20 micrograms per cubic meter. ASARCO claims that their modeling indicates that they will meet a new standard of .20 micrograms per cubic meter based on monthly averages. However, even if the EPA adopts a new standard of .20 micrograms per cubic meter, our region will risk being in non-attainment. This is because of
background lead concentrations in El Paso. According to ASARCO, those background concentrations are .07 micrograms per cubic meter. Once added to Asarco’s emissions, the total ambient lead in El Paso County would be .27 micrograms per cubic meter: we would not be in compliance and the County would once again be in non-attainment for the lead NAAQS.

For reference questions please call:

Neil Carman, Ph.D., Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club, 512-288-0042

Verónica Carbajal, Attorney, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc. (TRLA), 915-585-5107

###

ACORN is the nation's largest community organization of low- and – moderate income families, with over 300,000 member families organized into 800 neighborhood chapters in 108 cities across the country. Since 1970 ACORN has taken action and won victories on issues of concern to our members, including better housing for first-time homebuyers and tenants, living wages for low-wage workers, more investment in our communities from banks and governments, and better public schools.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Still no mention of looking for the undisclosed TOXIC WASTE from ASARCO...

Acorn on New EPA Air Standards as Applied to Asarco
Newspaper Tree - El Paso,TX,USA
These new standards will directly impact Asarco's Air Permit Application. Below is a summary of these impacts over the next ten months. 1. ...

Press Conference - Impact of New EPA Rules on ASARCO Application ...
By Texas RioGrande Legal Aid
WHAT: Press Conference: Impact of new EPA rules on Asarco application for air permit WHEN: Friday, November 16th, 1:30 PM WHERE: 220 Lawton. Corner of Lawton and Mundy, outside of Vilas School IN CASE OF RAIN: At the gazebo at Mundy ...

Monday, November 12, 2007

Conspiracies of Silence

Letters published in the Times
El Paso Times Staff
Article Launched: 11/11/2007 12:00:00 AM MST
http://www.elpasotimes.com/opinion/ci_7427964

Silent on Asarco hazardous waste

Conspiracies of silence have for too long concealed Asarco's dismal health impact history. In an El Paso Times article, published Oct. 16, Asarco lawyers deny the city's accusation that Asarco smelted hazardous wastes. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) was silent during the controversy.

During Mayor Raymond Caballero's administration, his Environmental Task Force discovered a relevant internal memorandum at TCEQ's local office. The memorandum revealed that manifests of Asarco's alleged "recyclable" wastes under the TCEQ's jurisdiction had been impeached during the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) investigation.

The integrity of reports on Asarco's cargo manifests had been violated. When the EPA confronted the TCEQ employee responsible for inspecting Asarco's cargo manifests, he testified, on the advice of TCEQ's Austin attorneys, that he did not have the time or personnel to conduct a proper inspection. This striking disclosure presents unanswered questions about the quality, quantity, source etc., of Asarco's wastes.

This poses a more serious question. Was this failure over a long period of years a sign of a silent conspiracy?

Joe Piñón

Sunday, November 11, 2007

TENORM and NORM Waste: Problems in the Texas oil system near Dallas/Ft.Worth

http://www.texaskaos.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=4251

Faces against the Dump today at 3 PM

Please gather today at 3PM at the Sunland Park Desert View Elementary
school.

People from the Sunland Park Grassroots environmental group, Colonias
Development Council, and others will gather for a photo against the
Regional Camino Real Landfill (DUMP), which is trying to renew a
ten-year permit.

This Dump is located on our water supply (the Rio Grande) just hundreds
of feet above the aquifer that feeds the Hueco Bolson at the Paso del
Norte; and right on an international border (despite the La Paz accord
(agreement) to not turn the border into a dump.)

The Dump is starting a methane-to-energy project. Only about 50% of the
gases coming off the dump are methane, we think -- the rest, only the
almighty apparently knows. Beneath the dirt at the dump lie toxic
waste recently disclosed by Phelps Dodge; and, loads of Zinc-stack
demolition debris from ASARCO (taken down during the Toxic-waste burning
years). The Dump accepts commercial waste from USA industries in Cd.
Juarez and El Paso and at least one person has seen a truck come here as
far away as Chicago...

Please come and stand with everyone.

Gas drilling's dirty side effect: Radioactive material....

Gas drilling’s dirty side effect: Radioactive material brought up from Barnett Shale during production
10:01 AM CST on Sunday, November 11, 2007 By Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe / Staff Writer
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first in a series of four stories on radioactive material generated by natural gas production in the Barnett Shale.
http://www.dentonrc.com/sharedcontent/dws/drc/localnews/stories/DRC_NORM1_11-11.1fb48b711.html

"
In Denton, Tarrant and Wise counties, all kinds of equipment — from pipes and separators to frac and brine-hauling tanks — have been decontaminated in [just] the past two years.

Texas Railroad Commission rules allow the industry to self-monitor for NORM, and many operators are slow to decontaminate the radioactive residue because of its cost, industry insiders say. Furthermore, only two of nearly 200 operators registered with the commission in the Barnett Shale’s core counties — Key Energy Services and Devon Energy — have provided for such decontamination in the past two years."

"Statewide, 140 such sites were decontaminated from January 2005 to the present, according to documents obtained from the Department of State Health Services, which oversees decontamination of the state’s hottest radioactive waste."