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Friday, July 9, 2010

ASARCO water contamination

"Sham Recycling Creates Sham Decision?
The TCEQ Executive Director's Asarco Air Permit Renewal decision ignores
hidden contamination in international waters, soils and air from secret
burning of toxic waste; What are elected officials, TCEQ and EPA

    EL PASO, Texas, May 8 [2007]/PRNewswire/ -- Representative Reyes and the GAO
 fail to investigate the specific incident that involved Asarco - instead,
 "will focus on the overall procedures and processes that DOD follows for
 disposing of hazardous waste that is created by military facilities and how
 the transport and disposal of this type of waste by the contractors is
 monitored and tracked."
     At the base of the Asarco smelter, the International Boundary and Water
 Commission's (IBWC) American Dam diverts Rio Grande River water to over 70
 miles of public drinking supply and irrigation canals. American Dam
 employees are sick, and the State Department Office of the Inspector
 General (OIG) recommended bringing in expert independent medical review.
     The first canal travels along the Asarco ore handling staging area and
 chemical ponds. Representative Reyes' office calls the 9-04-06 Asarco levee
 collapse, spilling hundreds of thousands of gallons of poisons into this
 drinking water, a "minor incident." El Paso Water Utilities (EPWU) reports
 showed elevated poisons at the Canal Street station after the event. The
 EPWU Canal St. plant pumps water up the Franklin Mt. and distributes it
 throughout El Paso.
     IBWC data shows leakage of 24 million dollars worth of Asarco
 groundwater contamination into the canal, near where Asarco Hydrometrics
 consultants found groundwater arsenic levels at 35,000 times the legal
 limit. Alluvial sediment beneath the Rio Grande is filled with faultlines
 above the international Hueco Bolson aquifer.
     EPA Water officials cannot find any data for Rio Grande water tests at
 the smelter meant to confirm EPA data taken five years earlier, even though
 EPA mentioned the testing on public radio.
     Asarco is sending poisons from the bottom of its ponds to TX US
 Ecology, the company that also manages Hanford Reservation Nuclear Waste in
 Washington State. A complete chemical analysis of these poisons has not
 been made available despite requests.
     The El Paso GTLO, SPEG (Sunland Park Environmental Group), El Paso
 Sierra Club members and concerned groups want the Asarco Contamination
 exposed, the responsible officials to "step down," and correct clean-up to

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