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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Time for ASARCO and Environmental Regulators to come clean...

Next Wednesday in Austin the TCEQ will decide whether or not to grant ASARCO (El Paso) their air permit so that they can restart the smelter. No one wants the smelter to reopen - not Mexico, not New Mexico and not El Paso TX. But there is a fraud/cover-up. In the ASARCO bankruptcy proceeding in Corpus Christi they are refusing to discuss the toxic waste handled and burned illegally by ASARCO in the 1990's. And, in the Paso del Norte region no one asks what toxic waste is here from that illegal burning.

They are dividing up the company assets, deciding what damages/liabilities they have to still pay for, and NOT DISCUSSING THE ILLEGAL TOXIC WASTE that got into the Paso del Norte soils, air, the Rio Grande and the international Hueco aquifer.

Meanwhile, just several miles up river from the El Paso smelter the 2nd largest N.M. regional dump is renewing a ten year permit -- and its application would allow it to accept (radioactive) Uranium mining and milling waste into that dump. That radioactivity will outlast the dump's liners. That dirt would be blown all over the region, and the isotopes would flow with the dirt during rain and wind events into the dump's unlined storm ponds to likely flow down the documented Sunland (park) surface fault (that extends along sunland park drive and then the edge of the dump) into the aquifer below. (A whole pile of that waste sits up at Coyote Canyon in Navajo N.M. land, stockpiled by EPA Region 6).

It is time that the community asked what EPA Region 6 is hiding, what Asarco is hiding --- what all these powerful concerns are hiding from us about what ASARCO poisoned us with. Has anyone seen a dioxin report on the Paso del Norte region? No. Has anyone seen a comprehensive beta radiation level plot graphed of our region? No. Has anyone seen a comprehensive chemical analysis of the Asarco pond-dirt that Asarco felt was bad enough that they railed it all the way back to Corpus Christi? No. What about a PCB report/chemical analysis? No. Can the EPA water lab find the chemical report and records for when they came out here in 2001 to try to duplicate Rio Grande samples from an unpublished UTEP masters thesis (running a mini double membrane osmosis treatment system at the Canal street station)? NO.

Are we and have we been sacrificed? YES.

The powers that be must think that we are ignorant stupid people down here in El Paso to sit idly by and simply ask for the smelter to be CLOSED without asking WHAT ARE THEY HIDING and WHAT TOXIC WASTE IS HERE??????????

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