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Thursday, April 8, 2010

TCEQ (as oversight to the Project Navigator remediation process)failsto notify local community groups] about ASARCO El Paso Trustee Legal Motion

As of today 8-April-2010 there has been no acknowledgment or reply from the Trustee or TCEQ to this 26-March letter.   Instead, they wrote (5-April-10) to say he was on vacation.    The "memo" referred to is not the complete confidential-for-settlement-purposes-only document and leaves out about 60% of the content from the original sent from the Federal DOJ in 2006 (NYTIMES 10/06):

"Currently Roberto Puga is out on vacation and will respond to your email when he returns.   Also, I did want to let you know that the Department of Justice memo is now available on our website at



Elizabeth Schell"

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: TCEQ (as oversight to the Project Navigator remediation process)failsto notify local community groups
Date: Fri, 26 Mar 2010 00:10:45 -0600
To: Roberto Puga <rpuga[at]>, Lorinda Gardner <LGARDNER[at]>

Mr. Puga,
This motion is significant.  Why wasn't the environmental community notified?   What this motion asks is, "to clarify... that ANY CLAIMS... by third parties WERE EXTINGUISHED BY THE BANKRUPTCY" --- AND -- "that the CONSENT DECREE and Settlement Agreement... approves the conveyance ... [of] the properties to the TX Custodial Trustee free and clear of any and all liens, CLAIMS, or encumbrances...."

The lay-community of El Paso TX, Cd. Juarez and Sunland Park should not be left in the dark on such motions -- it is very sad that a bankruptcy newsletter "abstract"  is all that enabled us to spot what was happening, here.

You, as the Trustee filing this motion, failed to mention the ten years of illegal secret haz-waste incineration that the DOJ Bankruptcy Trustee also failed to require the courts to look-at.   Ignoring the haz-waste during the bankruptcy was an illegal act by the DOJ Bankruptcy Trustee, and although I am not an attorney, your motion "overlooking mention" of the secret toxic waste while still requesting clarification of such looks very suspect.

You fail to mention in that motion that the CONSENT DECREE had a confidential-for-settlement-purposes-only section that ASARCO secretly-signed-off with the DOJ and EPA on condition that details of what it had illegally done would never become public.   That section is now public-domain and none of the details of what occurred should remain secret under FOIA.

Our community wants to know -- and, the International JAC committee from the La Paz Accord also recommends disclosure - what secret toxic wastes ASARCO left here from those years of illegal activity.   We have a right to know.

As the trustee, you have a legal-responsibility, since you should have known about the secret haz-waste, to disclose it to this community.  

I would like a copy of the answer to your ["Texas Custodial Trust"] motion from the court.

If you have a bibliographic summary of the Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr Houston Law Firm handling the TX Custodial Trust, I would like a copy also.

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