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Sunday, September 27, 2009

TCEQ Commissioner tries to pull the wool over a resident's eyes about the ASARCO haz-waste burning.

Talked with a new TCEQ Commissioner friday.  He approached me after a speech he'd given, at a break, to say that we were "trying to prove a negative" by saying that the years of ASARCO illegal secret toxic waste burning left terrible poisons here in the Paso del Norte region.    He said that maybe there wasn't anything bad left here. 

Yup, the the EPA said it was illegal incineration of unmanifested toxic wastes for years, for money; and Rep. Reyes said that ASARCO paid millions on condition that the details of what it had done would never reach the public.   They went to great lengths to hide something.  They still are...  "Nothing bad here".

ASARCO had put in the world's two largest con-top furnaces just before beginning the secret military and industrial waste burning.  The EPA and TCEQ kept the secret activity and then their agreement with ASARCO secret for another 8 years.  In five MORE years this community cannot even get dioxin data for the area around the smelter, or PCB data, or mercury data, or even polonium data.  Other communities can get this data - but not ours.

It is beginning to look like Governor Perry appointed someone to be Commissioner who is not willing to be frank with the community.   It wasn't the TCEQ who initially let us know that ASARCO had polluted the Rio Grande and the Hueco Bolson -- it was the EPA.   It was not the TCEQ or the EPA that let us know about the secret waste burning years -- it was a DOJ attorney in Washington D.C. who sent it overnight-weekend mail after a Texas P.I.A. request. 

Just a week ago a regional EPA administrator for our city of El Paso got into my face after a local meeting, and was quite upset - almost yelling.   He finally said, after I refused to argue or engage in such heated dialog -- he finally said that secret DOJ-EPA agreements like that one (the EPA-DOJ Asarco confidential-for-settlement-purposes-only Secret document -- see link at left on Blog) were a dime a dozen in Washington D.C. and that is how they do business.  

What is that old saying... that me-thinks that they protest too much?

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