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Saturday, May 2, 2009

CEO Salaries in comparison with our Environmental-debt in El Paso...

All but one of the CEO's on the AP's list below make enough in one year to pay for the entire clean-up of Asarco waste beneath the old American Canal (IBWC estimated it at around 24 million - might be more, now).


Where are the CEOs on AP's 2007 top-paid list?
The Associated Press
Richard Adkerson, Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold Inc. _ 2007 pay: $65.3 million _ 2008 pay: $72.4 million _ Status: Still CEO. The mining company CEO's pay ...
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 This once a day Google Alert is brought to you by Google.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Grupo Mexico set to offer new bid for Asarco

Grupo Mexico set to offer new bid for Asarco
American Metal Market - New York,USA
By Anne RileyPublished: Apr 30 2009 5:25PM Grupo Mexico SA de CV has so far been unsuccessful in its attempts to regain control of former subsidiary Asarco ...
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 This as-it-happens Google Alert is brought to you by Google.

"Grupo Mexico set to offer new bid for Asarco

Grupo Mexico SA de CV has so far been unsuccessful in its attempts to regain control of former subsidiary Asarco LLC. That's all about to change, according to the Mexico City-based miner.

Grupo Mexico said this week it had reached an agreement with the asbestos creditors in Asarco's bankruptcy case to support subsidiary Americas Mining Corp.'s reorganization plan over Sterlite Industries Ltd.'s $1.7-billion bid.

Sterlite's reorganization plan, which has been called "fair and reasonable" by the federal bankruptcy judge presiding over the case, has yet to gain the support of the asbestos committee, Grupo Mexico said.

Grupo Mexico's long and sometimes contentious relationship with Asarco dates back 10 years. Grupo Mexico acquired Asarco for $1.2 billion in 1999, but lost control over..."

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine Flu outbreak in Mexico will shut down many PEMEX operations and possibly Grupo Mexico mines per order by Felipe Calderon...BUT WALMART REMAINS OPEN

"Thu Apr 30, 2009 6:38pm BST

(Reuters) - Mexican President Felipe Calderon has ordered non-essential government offices and businesses to shut down for five days from Friday to stem the spread of a deadly swine flu virus.....

* Some operations at state oil company Pemex will continue. The government has yet to specify what parts of the major oil exporter will be affected by the shutdown....

* Walmart's Mexican subsidiary Wal-Mart de Mexico, one of the nation's largest employers and its top retailer, will not close its stores and will operate normally, a spokesman said.....

.....copper giant Grupo Mexico said production continued normally but the companies were examining the government shutdown order, since it takes time to stop big mining operations...."

Grupo Mexico Board

Chairman & CEO

Secretary of the Board    
Statutary Auditor

Bufette Carrillo Gamboa    
Vice Chairman of the Board
Grupo México

Ferrocarril Mexicano   
Chairman & CEO
San Luis Corporación

Embotelladoras Unidas    
Formerly Chairman & CEO
Bufette Industrial

Minera México    
Chairman & CEO
Novedades de Acapulco

Southern Peru Copper Corp.    
Alternate Secretary of the Board
Grupo México

Chairman & CEO
Kimberly Clark México
Alternate Statutory Auditor

Co Director
Carlyle Group

Chairman of the Mexican Institute of
Chávez, Ruíz, Zamarripa y Cía.

TCEQ gives highest award to Texas branch of Kimberly Clark (Company that sits on Grupo Mexico Board)

TCEQ gives highest award to Texas branch of Kimberly Clark (Company that sits on Grupo Mexico Board -- Grupo Mexico owns ASARCO El Paso).  An industry finalist included "Waste Management of Texas, Inc., Houston – Large-venue Sporting Facility Recycling".

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                              CONTACT: LISA WHEELER

THURSDAY, APRIL 30, 2009                                                PHONE: 512-239-5003 / PAGER: 512-606-3681





Awards are highest environmental achievement in state of Texas


The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) today formally announced the winners of the 17th annual Texas Environmental Excellence Awards. The awards were given to 10 innovative projects and people across the state that demonstrate positive effects on air, water, and land resources....


"These award winners are shining examples of how everyone—from one individual, to a corporation—can improve and protect our state’s natural resources,” said TCEQ Chairman Buddy Garcia.  


"The innovation shown by these winners is truly inspiring, and should encourage all Texans to follow their lead,” said TCEQ Commissioner Larry R. Soward.  


2009 Texas Environmental Excellence Award winners:



Kimberly-Clark Corporation

(Category: Large/Non-technical)


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Asarco's Bankruptcy plan (#4) mentions El Paso .... ONCE

The 205 page plan mentions El Paso ONCE -- about yard clean-up; and, it
qualifies that by saying "In the event that the Plan Administrator is
unable to enter into an agreement with a third party contractor in
respect of such response actions without providing indemnification to
the third
party, the Plan Administrator shall be excused from any and all
obligations with respect to the performance of such response actions."

Asarco 4th amended plan of reorganization (links)

Asarco reorganization decision delayed until May 15

Asarco reorganization decision delayed until May 15
Reuters - USA
The decision, by US Bankruptcy Judge Richard Schmidt of the Southern District of Texas, gives Asarco's parent, Grupo Mexico, time to submit its own plan to ...
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'EPA nominees pledge action on enforcement, Superfund

"Cynthia Giles is Vice President and Director of Conservation Law Foundation's Rhode Island Advocacy Center, where she has focused on state and regional advocacy to combat climate change. From 2001 to 2005, Cynthia served as head of the Bureau of Resource Protection at the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. Giles worked for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in a variety of capacities from 1991 to 1997. From 1995-1997, she was Enforcement Director for Region 3 and developed a "results-targeted" approach to enforcement, which she has since published in a paper written for OECA. Her responsibilities included overseeing enforcement of federal laws regulating toxics and protecting air, drinking water and surface water. She also chaired a regional ozone compliance initiative, developing strategies for reducing smog-causing emissions from stationary sources. Prior to joining EPA, Giles was an Assistant United States Attorney, where she prosecuted violations of federal environmental laws. She holds a BA from Cornell University, as well as a JD from the University of California at Berkeley and an MPA from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government. She is admitted to the bar in the State of Rhode Island, U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island and State of Pennsylvania."

"President Obama nominated Mathy V. Stanislaus, 46, to be EPA's Assistant Administrator for Solid Waste and Emergency Response. Most recently he is the co-founder of the New Partners for Community Revitalization. He also served at Huber Lawrence & Abell as senior environmental associate and at the Environmental Protection Agency as assistant regional counsel for New York Region II Offices. His nomination was announced on March 31, 2009 and was he was formally nominated on April 20, 2009. He has served on the USEPA's National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC), Waste and Facility Siting Subcommittee; chaired the NEJAC's Waste Transfer Station Workgroup. In addition to his law degree, Mr. Stanislaus has a degree in Chemical Engineering. Mr. Stanislaus is presently on the Board of the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, Inc. Mr. Stanislaus was born in Sri Lanka and immigrated to the United States." [note: Huber Lawrence & Abell have represented NEW YORK STATE ELECTRIC AND GAS CORPORATION]

'President Obama has nominated Michelle DePass ... to serve as the Assistant Administrator for International Affairs at the Environmental Protection Agency. Ms. DePass currently manages the Ford Foundation's initiative on Environmental Justice and Healthy Communities. She has taught federal environmental law and policy at the City University of New York, and developed a workforce development training program for disadvantaged youth on Superfund waste sites. She also served as executive director of the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance and co-organized the Northeast Environmental Justice Network....She previously served as the assistant to the city manager of San Jose, Calif., on environmental policy matters and was an Environmental Compliance Manager for the City of San Jose. She was a William Kunstler Racial Justice Fellow at the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York, and later worked as a senior policy adviser to the commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. (Grist, Wash Post, 3/18/09)"

Google Alert:
'EPA nominees pledge action on enforcement, Superfund
New York Times - United States
The Obama administration's nominees to head EPA's offices of enforcement and compliance, toxic waste and emergency response, and international affairs faced ..."

Please explain why Uranium values were higher in our region in 1997 - 2000 than in 1990

To: George Brozowski, Bill Luthans

When the EPA came to El Paso in 2001 to test our region for Asarco contamination, UTEP researchers published the following research-paper:

J Air Waste Manag Assoc. 2001 Nov;51(11):1551-60. Analysis of temporal and spatial dichotomous PM air samples in the El Paso-Cd. Juarez air quality basin. by Li WW, Orquiz R, Garcia JH, Espino TT, Pingitore NE, Gardea-Torresdey J, Chow J, Watson JG.
They included several Tables, where they compared the values of chemicals-test-for in 1990 (pre-Asarco Contop-furnace haz-waste burning) vs 1997-2000. The sample sites were downwind of the Asarco smelter.

The 1990 study showed no uranium was found in the samples --- but, seven (plus) years later, UTEP is finding uranium in all sample areas.

Would you send me the data (proof) from Asarco's stack samples (or industrial site) that these chemicals did not originate from the Smelter's illegal activities?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Lawmakers may strip the TCEQ of its EPA responsibilities...

"Bryan W. Shaw’s confirmation as a member of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has run into trouble in the Texas Senate. At a press conference this morning, Sens. Eliot Shapleigh, Wendy Davis and Rodney Ellis called for a “top to bottom” review of the agency — in the manner of the DeLoitte Touche analysis of management at the TexasDepartment of Transportation.

Citing examples of ex parte communications, the revolving door between the commission and industry, failure to enforce federal laws and a pattern of decisions in which the commission overrules its own scientists, the three lawmakers claimed unethical — and sometimes illegal — activities at the TCEQ were undermining the agency’s core mission.....

Monday, the three lawmakers also raised the possibility that federal regulators would step in and strip the TCEQ of responsibilities delegated by the EPA. Environmental groups filed a petition requesting that action under the Bush Administration and no action was taken; that could change once the Obama Administration names a new regional EPA director...."

Activists charge environmental racism, and genocide: H.R. 672

Poor communities combat military pollutants
By Charlene Muhammad
Western Region Correspondent
Updated Apr 21, 2009 - 12:08:30 AM

Activists charge environmental racism, and genocide

File Photo: Children play on a merry-go-round near an oil refinery at the Carver Terrace housing project playground in west Port Arthur, Texas May 15, 2007. Port Arthur sits squarely on a two-state corridor routinely ranked as one of the country's most polluted regions. Texas and Louisiana are home to five oil refineries considered among the nation's 10 worst offenders in releasing toxic air pollutants, emitting 8.5 million pounds of toxins together. AP Photo/LM Otero`The government will not address the health affects in communities like ours, whether it's Black, Native American, Asian, if you live around a federal site, they're not going to address any health issues but I will say the government is equal opportunity. They pollute the hell out of everybody.'
—Doris Bradshaw
( - Doris Bradshaw knows devastation. Her father passed away from cancer in late March. Her grandmother passed away after just six months of being diagnosed with an aggressive, rare form of bladder cancer in 1995 and when her grandfather died of the cancer a year later, she recalled a letter sent by a nearby military distribution site the year before, which said various chemicals may have seeped offsite into the drainage ditches in their community.

She began researching the USA Defense Depot Memphis (DDMT) and her Memphis, Tenn. neighborhood and said she found that in every household there was a history of cancer. In some, at least three to four people had the disease, but the problem was worse than that.

"Our rate here is between 75 percent mortality and morbidity. My next-door neighbor's daughter was 13 and had uterine cancer. We had a young man here with testicular cancer at 17. Most women at 25 have hysterectomies and if they don't go and have their children early in our community, normally they can't have kids because they are always affected by some type of reproductive illness," Ms. Bradshaw told The Final Call.

The 54-year-old had cancer cells in her uterus at 30 years old; a baseball-sized tumor at 28 and now she has an unidentifiable lung disease and suffers with diabetes, high blood pressure and thyroid disease, all which she attributes to exposure to hazardous waste from the DDMT. Stomach, colon and cervical cancer are reported as the highest types there, Ms. Bradshaw said, but that's only because "prostate cancer rates are so high, they don't even report it."

The DDMT is made up of 642 acres in a residential, commercial and industrial area of south central Memphis. Since 1942 it has distributed clothing, food, medical supplies, electronic equipment, petroleum products, and industrial chemicals to all U.S. military services.

It also conducted numerous operations utilizing hazardous substances with contamination resulting from leakage, spillage, disposal of out-of-date materials, and normal application of pesticides, according to the Defense Dept. (DOD) website description of the center.

In 1946, the Army disposed of leaking mustard bombs (a chemical warfare agent) and other waste at Dunn Field, a 60-acre open storage and burial area at the DDMT. The waste included oil, grease, paint thinners, methyl bromide, pesticides and cleaning fluids (chlorinated solvents). Approximately 154,300 people rely on drinking water from public supply wells within four miles of Dunn Field.

Ms. Bradshaw created Defense Depot Memphis Tennessee Concerned Citizens to document their ordeal, provide support, and advocate for accountability and health care for people who now are sick, can't work and are on disability.

"When you get 50 you're considered a senior citizen now because most of our seniors are dead. There's only one person on my street within a block that is 80 years old. There aren't too many 60 year olds and most of us are in our 50s over here. It's not that people don't know what's going on. They do, but environmental racism kicks in," Ms. Bradshaw said.

The group joined a coalition of communities and organizations around the U.S. to help push legislation that would require the government to clean up the sites and comply with health and environmental protection laws.

Congressman Bob Filner (D-CA) introduced the "Military Environmental Responsibility Act" (H.R. 672) on August 3, 2007 to eliminate military waivers to key environmental laws like the Clean Air Act and the Nuclear Waste Policy Act.

In a March 24 letter to the White House, the coalition said it wants to expose hidden casualties at home that are caused by unregulated military projects that have increased the risks for cancer and exposure to military toxins

"We are united in seeking to protect those most vulnerable from these harmful exposures especially the unborn, babies, youth, elders, disenfranchised communities of race, Indigenous Tribal Nations and peoples, economically disadvantaged communities, military personnel, civilian workers, military garment workers, and families living in the vicinity of military operations and installations throughout the nation," the letter expressed.

Specifically, H.R. 672 would amend the United States Code to require the Department of Defense and all other defense-related U.S. agencies to comply with Federal and State environmental laws, including those applicable to public health, worker safety, protecting the environment, and the health and safety of the public, particularly children, members of the Armed Forces, civilian workers and people who live in the vicinity of military operations and installations.

Chris Isleib, DoD spokesperson, told The Final Call that the department takes environmental issues very seriously and works with both governmental and non-governmental agencies to ensure maximum protection, remediation and meet EPA requirements.

"No entity in the world, government or private sector, has spent more money—or more effort—than the Defense Department has on environmental cleanup, cleanup research, cleanup assessment, technology to conduct cleanup, cleanup operations, cleanup follow-up monitoring," Mr. Isleib countered.

The DoD's current estimate of future costs for environmental restitution is approximately $32 billion for sites with remaining work at active installations and it has some 11,500 sites either in cleanup or tagged for clean up.

Of the DoD's 31,500 clean up sites, about 20,500 of them have reached their remedial action objectives, Mr. Isleib said.

Laura Olah, executive director, Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger, who is leading the coalition, said she became involved when the Army announced that groundwater contamination had traveled three miles offsite and within a quarter mile of a municipal well in Prairie du Sac, Michigan. Then, the drinking water supplies of three private homes became contaminated with high levels of the cancer-causing chemical carbon tetrachloride.

Contaminant concentrations in the ground water are more than 50 times the Health Advisory Levels established by the Wisconsin Division of Public Health.

"The government will not address the health affects in communities like ours, whether it's Black, Native American, Asian; if you live around a federal site, they're not going to address any health issues but I will say the government is equal opportunity. They pollute the hell out of everybody. They find poor White communities and do the same thing to them also, anybody who's not able to fight them," Ms. Bradshaw said.

Gilbert Sanchez of the Tribal Environmental Watch Alliance, has worked on nuclear environmental issues for decades—ever since the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), where the atomic bomb was first tested and implemented, was built on his tribe's ancestral land.

He is a member of the 19 Pueblos, which is a sub-group of the San Ildefonso Tribe and from LANL's inception in 1945, there has been no regulation of the waste products used by the lab. Today, there are uncontrollable chemical and biological wastes violating his people's food chain and like residents near the DDMT, they are experiencing high rates of rare cancers.

"My concern has always been the health impact from all of the activities of the past. Not only my relatives but people, young people in the valley, are dying from very young ages of cancer because they or their parents worked up on the hill," he said.

He has spent years fighting for a baseline study of the current health impacts that the uranium and plutonium used to make the bomb has had on his people. "The Euro-American or Anglo-American scientists knew very well that the dust particles from this uranium and plutonium was going to be dangerous and impact the respiratory system," Mr. Sanchez said.

In order to cover that up, he charged, the lab freely gave its workers tobacco products—a carton of cigarettes per day, but they couldn't take the cigarettes out of the mines, refinement factories or plutonium areas.

Now, Mr. Sanchez said, the tribe's condition is very much like a third world country with very low living standards, a sub par health care system, and they are often used as guinea pigs.

"This is part of the Euro-American genocidal movement. It's a part of that orchestrated genocidal commission that's continually going on. It started at the time of discovery and continues today," he said. He believes that President Barack Obama is sincere about his commitment to abolish the nuclear weapons industry, and he hopes that Pres. Obama can open the books and secrecy cloaked around U.S. military research centers and laboratories.

"We have no need to have massive weapons of destruction that are going to totally annihilate portions of this earth or completely the earth itself. Conventional weaponry and the use of current nuclear weapons is beyond any human's right mind," Mr. Sanchez said.

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

South New Jersey & WA sites get stimulus monies.... but El Paso? What about El Paso??

Stimulus steps in to mop up Superfund mess
Seattle Times - Seattle,WA,USA
Up to $10 million will be spent to remove contaminated soils from residential backyards and park areas within a mile of the former Asarco smelter along ...

"President Obama wants to restore the tax and assumes it will provide $1 billion in revenues for his 2011 budget.

Until then, financing for work at the nation's nearly 1,600 Superfund sites will come from taxpayers in the form of EPA appropriations or stimulus money. The nearly $600 million in stimulus money virtually doubles the amount available for Superfund work in the current fiscal year, officials said."