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Saturday, December 29, 2007

YES Magazine "The story of Stuff"

Letter to EP Times

"Asarco overstates

Asarco is probably the worst polluter in America. They have burned hazardous wastes and failed to meet the burden of proof that they would not detrimentally contribute to air quality in the El Paso area.

In addition, they are currently being assessed for legitimate IBWC liability claims in bankruptcy court. Common sense tells us that air quality effects soil and water, and that Asarco's proposed allowable per TCEQ permit No. 20345 would harm air, soil and water.

In response to Bob Litle's Dec. 12 letter, The IBWC is, too, an "affected party," because the smelter runs next to the Rio Grande and American Canal: a substantial source of our water. Further, the "legacy of environmental claims," against Asarco, has everything "to do with the permit renewal process," and disconnecting the facts only obscures the truth.

Asarco plant manager Litle's letter does not deny that Asarco is indeed environmentally liable, or even contesting the $27 million in liability. He is merely suggesting that environmental claims were "overstated."

However, by doing so he doesn't deny the actual damage that was done, he only denies the interpretations of that damage, and nothing more.

Scott Comar
Central El Paso"

Friday, December 28, 2007


"TCEQ Finally Sets Asarco Hearing   by Khushroo Ghadiali
The long-awaited hearing that could determine the fate of the Asarco smelter has finally been set by the TCEQ in Austin.
Posted on December 28, 2007
TCEQ Finally Sets Asarco Hearing
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, or TCEQ, has announced a hearing date for ASARCO’s appeal. The hearing, scheduled for Feb. 13, will be held in Austin.
This comes after Bruce Manvell, the investigator for the County Attorney's office replied to TCEQ’sletter of Dec 17 asking the TCEQ, in writing, to determine whether criminal prosecution against Asarco is warranted, and to explain why or why not.
NPT seeking a clarification of the letter was told that the agency would not comment any further. A spokeswoman for the agency said "What the executive director said (in the letter) is what we're going to say."   "

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

New Mexico URANIUM mining and milling waste waiting for disposal :: Camino Real Landfill on Rio Grande (Sunland Park N.M.) has hidden clause allowing disposal of URANIUM Mining and milling waste with approval of the State...

[is it a coincidence that Camino Real Landfill hearing experts were lobbyists and experts from the Nuclear disposal industry; and, that a "however" clause in its permit would allow the disposal of toxic uranium mining and milling wastes next-to/on our water supply?]

"...The colorful printout of the abandoned [URANIUM] mines and mill sites was the size of a conference table. The most contaminated site was ranked number one. It known to those who live there as Coyote Canyon [New Mexico].

With the data so clearly showing that Coyote Canyon posed a danger to residents, the EPA moved the Nez family and others into temporary shelters. Workers began cleaning up--basically digging up a foot of soil and stockpiling it at the United Nuclear Corporation site next to the Nezes' property. General Electric, which now owns the property, was supposed to haul the soil away and safely dispose of it.

When I visit Coyote Canyon in August 2007, the Nezes are back home, and the place doesn't look the same. I drive past the hogan where Bertha's father lived. The flags are gone; the dirt surrounding the octagonal structure has been scraped. So has the earth around the Nezes' home and horse corral.

But the massive mound of contaminated earth, which the EPA had covered in heavy black plastic, has not been moved. The plastic is torn and blowing in the wind, along with fine particles of contaminated soil--a threat to the Navajos that seems, in my mind, a metaphor for the nuclear waste problem downstream."