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Sunday, September 6, 2009

El Paso Inc. Feb. 11 2007 "letter-to-the-Editor"

El Paso Inc. Feb. 11 2007 letter to the Editor profiling the repair of the buckled-panel at the old upper american canal across from the Asarco smelter ore handling site

Dear Mr. Fenton,

Thank you for the article and photo about the repair of the old upper
American canal's broken panel, showing the Jobe Concrete truck pouring
cement for the new panel, near the American Dam (established by
International Treaty for the delivery of waters to Mexico and the USA).

We know from the IBWC's reports that 24 million dollars worth of
hazardous waste is in the soil beneath those panels right there. Some
of it is odorless and tasteless. We know from the EPWU's water reports
above and below that buckled-panel that it is leaking into that water
still flowing past the feet of those men, who are now exposed to it.
Those men are not wearing masks, most are not wearing gloves -- no one
is wearing white environmental suits. Some of those men will wash their
clothes at home or in commercial laundromats, and family members (maybe
pregnant wives or growing kids) will handle the contaminated clothing.

We know that between mid-March and mid-October that El Paso will get its
drinking water from this canal; and, that contamination still leaks
through the old-joints and the weep-holes into the canal where
ground-water touches the liner. The contamination will pass along over
70 miles of agricultural irrigation canal. The farmland below Asarco
has been called an "arsenic time-bomb" in at least one research paper.

Our community knows that Asarco burned illegal hazardous waste for
nearly a decade just a stone's throw away from this liner.
Smeltertown, in the background of this photo on the EP Inc., had 18
inches of soil removed nearly 40 years ago, for just the Pb (lead)
content alone.

The panels in that old canal were made over 70 years ago of 3 inches of
concrete laid over re-bar, just like in that photo - and layered in two
directions. They should be made of 4 inches of reinforced concrete.
This is a patch-job it appears, and the rest of the 3 miles and 400 or
so panels are still in danger of failing. The panels' failure was
predicted years ago.

The State Department in spring of '05 reviewed the various IBWC sites
and said that the employees at American Dam next to old-smeltertown were
sick, and that they were not getting independent medical review from
this region.

How long will our regulatory agencies responsible for our well-being
continue to conceal its conflicts of interests from this community and
pass along the responsibilities to the next generation---
"pass-the-buck", in cancers, lead exposure, arsenic trioxides and
actinide exposures?

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