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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Paso del Norte: paying Asarco clean-up dollars out of your pocket and mine...

"On May 27, 2004 the El Paso Water Utilities Public Service Board (PSB) promised DOD that PSB would build the world's largest inland desalination plant on Fort Bliss property to allow Fort Bliss to keep its existing wells in reserve as a strategic buffer"

AND ALL THAT TIME THE FEDERAL DEPT. OF JUSTICE, THE EPA, THE TCEQ and ASARCO KNEW THAT ASARCO HAD CONTAMINATED THE HUECO BOLSON AND THE RIO GRANDE; and, that ASARCO had signed onto a 1998 confidential settlement admitting it had burned secret illegal (and unknown) toxic wastes for profit for years.  In exchange, Rep. Reyes later said, Asarco paid millions on condition that the details of what it had done would never be revealed to the community.

Some of that secret waste was military waste; and, now the desal plant that would remove 99% of the contaminants from the Hueco-Bolson-water was being built -- and, the contaminants piped over 20 miles N.E. to deep-well-injection sites on Fort Bliss property.

What exactly did Asarco burn?  And what exactly did they contaminate the Hueco Bolson with and in what amounts?  Why were we never told? 
And now, to add insult to injury, the Taxpayer will foot the bill to remove ASARCO toxic wastes from the Hueco Bolson water? (Asarco had dumped chemicals offsite to the sewage plant(s) for years, and then the water was treated as purple-pipe water to re-inject into the Hueco Bolson aquifer to replenish it.)

May 13, 2005....the PSB General Manager signed an agreement to build the desalination plant on Fort Bliss property.(3) The agreement guaranteed PSB nothing in return."... "On Aug. 18, 2009, PSB announced plans to execute an easement, water supply contract (4) and water purchase contract (5) with Fort Bliss. If Fort Bliss does not pay its fair share of costs, El Paso citizens will be forced to make up the difference. The easement, water supply contract and water purchase contract could cost El Paso citizens as much as $930 million."

ASARCO EL PASO will pay only 52 million dollars to the community for clean-up of its site, under the Corpus Christi Bankruptcy court that is ignoring the liabilities from ASARCO EL PASO's illegal activities (the DOJ Bankruptcy Trustee and the Court are ignoring that the DOJ made PUBLIC the 1998 EPA-DOJ Asarco confidential-for-settlement-purposes-only-document).

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