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

Thursday, August 6, 2009

[Fwd: Re: El Paso Times article and question]

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: El Paso Times article and question
Date: Thu, 06 Aug 2009 17:33:34 -0500
From: Lorinda Gardner <LGARDNER[at]tceq.state.tx.us>

Attached please find groundwater semi-annual sample results for the ASARCO El Paso site which were recently obtained from ASARCO.  The results cover the years 2005-2008 (the 2009 results are not yet completed).  Please note that the attachment includes data as received from ASARCO and data that has been adjusted by my staff to make the charts readable (tabs 2005, 2006, 2007).  None of the data has been changed other than to adjust the format.
 
You asked "WHAT TCEQ tests on the "smelter's impact on groundwater" have been
completed.  And do these tests include hexavalent chromium?"  You have access to data on the Agency's ASARCO web site and the attached groundwater samples.  These data sets do not include hexavalent chromium.  The Agency's regional staff are currently conducting a split sampling event at the ASARCO El Paso site.  Hexavalent Chromium tests are planned for this sampling event.
 
You also asked "I would also like an explanation why the TCEQ never mentioned these
tests when many of us were just there talking with the TCEQ?  How much
more information is being left out?"  There was never an intention to leave information out of conversations either written or verbal.  The data is essentially considered as a set and all of it was used by ASARCO in the assessment of the site.  In the interests of transparency, we will post the data to the website as soon as possible.
 
Additionally, I've attached surface water sampling results as well.  You may have seen these before as they were included in Jim Sher's expert report for the bankruptcy litigation.  Note that there are exceedances for arsenic in the Rio Grande and the American Canal.  The TCEQ's planned remedy for the site addresses contamination reaching these water bodies from the ASARCO site.  Prior to the implementation of that remedy, we do not think these exceedances pose a problem for El Paso's drinking water for two reasons: 1) the closest drinking water intake is located approximately 2 miles from the site; and 2) El Paso treats water to drinking water standards prior to delivery to customers.
 
 
Thanks
Lorinda D Gardner
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
El Paso Regional Director

>>> <> 7/17/2009 9:41 AM >>>
Hi, Lorinda,

Please explain the following to our community.  According to the El Paso
Times yesterday, "In addition, tests in El Paso to determine the
smelter's impact on groundwater have been completed. The Texas
Commission on Environmental Quality is reviewing a proposed treatment
plan to deal with contamination caused by the smelter."

WHAT TCEQ tests on the "smelter's impact on groundwater" have been
completed.  And do these tests include hexavalent chromium?

I would like a copy of the tests and test results (please let me know if
costs will exceed 25$).

I would also like an explanation why the TCEQ never mentioned these
tests when many of us were just there talking with the TCEQ?  How much
more information is being left out?



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