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H.Mcmurray's work exposing the poisoning of 1000 square miles around El Paso by Asarco smelter through what the EPA and US DOJ said was illegal burning of massive amounts of illegal hazardous/radioactive wastes 1991 to 1998. The poisons remain.We have never been told what actinides are present from illegal Asarco actions(see 1998 conf. for settlement purposes only DOJ EPA Asarco doc,10/06 nytimes)
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"THE ONLY THING NECESSARY FOR THE TRIUMPH OF EVIL IS FOR GOOD MEN TO DO NOTHING"
"In a surprise announcement last Thursday night at UTEP, State Senator Eliot Shapleigh said that the Asarco land next to UTEP and I10 had been only minimally impacted by the smelter. 'All it needs,' he explained to the audience, 'is a good power-washing!'
One of the founding UTEP-Student-members of Get the Lead Out Analisa Cordova was ecstatic at the news, which would allow for development of that land by UTEP. Suggested uses for that land presented that night included a UTEP research facility or expanded student-housing. Students explained that there wasn't enough housing at the present Miner Village location."
"Charles County Government Is Dumping Radioactive Waste Into Potomac!
It is being done by the CHARLES COUNTY GOVERNMENT by the choice of the CHARLES COUNTY COMMISSIONERS. A neighborhood discovered radioactivity in its water, and upon further testing it was found to be POLONIUM, which is 5000 times more radioactive than radium, which took the life of Madame Curie, who discovered both elements. From my internet research, 6.8 TRILLIONTHS of a gram is carcinogenic. A gram is about the weight of a small paper clip.
The county could have dug another well, until they found one without polonium (the stuff is very rare) but instead chose to use a $300K filtration system that is expensive to operate to filter the water (which still leaves significant amounts in the drinking water, but below EPA standards). THEN, they will truck the radioactive waste to the Mattawoman Wastewater treatment plant, and dump it UNTREATED into the effluent stream that goes into the Potomac.
I wrote a private letter to the Commissioners giving them 15 days to reverse their decision, and telling them that I would publicly applaud them if they did the right thing. I also told them that after 15 days, I would do whatever I could to stop them, including going public, and whatever else it takes. On the 19th day, I had no response at all, so I FILED SUIT AGAINST THE COUNTY, claiming that it violates the zoning ordinance, and asking for an injunction.
For more, please see the Md. Independent article below:
Last evening State Senator Shapleigh and the UTEP student government representatives presented, along with comments from the Project Navigator ASARCO Custodial Trustee, plans and ideas for development of the ASARCO El Paso site.
We don't even know what chemicals have been left there from the years of illegal and secret Toxic-waste burning that the EPA and Federal DOJ kept under wraps from 1998 through to 2006, when an honest DOJ attorney and the NYTimes broke the story. We don't know what has been left in our soils, air and water from what the EPA and DOJ secretly-admitted had been secret-burnings of military and industrial wastes by Asarco for profit for YEARS.
The entire ASARCO bankruptcy was based on the fraudulent concealment of this toxic-waste and its liabilities in El Paso TX and E. Helena MT. The DOJ Trustee would not require the courts to consider the DOJ/EPA document (a 1998 formerly confidential-for-settlement-purposes-only document and its d*mning evidence of what ASARCO had done for nearly ten years). The contract for the custodial-trustee does not mandate that the trustee look for or clean-up anything other than what the Bankruptcy court discussed -- and the secret wastes/poisons were never discussed.
Why? And why did the organizers of this UTEP event conveniently forget to mention that the lands around this El Paso ASARCO site --- 1000 square miles of it --- are likely extremely toxic from only god-knows-what Asarco burned all those years. 60% of the El Paso drinking water supply passes within a hundred feet of the smelter through an open over-70-year-old cracked and leaking concrete ditch. A little known fact in the area is that waters from the Rio Grande to Mexico and the USA are officially separated at the IBWC "American Dam" and that this dam sits at the foot of the smelter. Why isn't our government protecting us? And why is our community so beaten-down that they have given up trying to make their government act? It is appalling that our governmental officials - both in the EPA, the TCEQ, the NMED and others refuse to disclose any details about what happened here. During the winter of 1998 just before the smelter shut down, the EPA said that the Beta Radiation level around the smelter was the HIGHEST IN THE NATION. Official(s) assure us that this was normal background radiation and nothing to worry about -- but, they fail to produce any reports or studies to substantiate their claim that this radiation level was "safe".
Next week the University next to the El Paso ASARCO smelter will discuss buying ASARCO toxic-land next to their campus -- all the while conveniently allowed to "forget" and "ignore" the poisons left on that land from the activities disclosed to the NYTIMES 10/2006 -- and still "forgotten" and "ignored" by those left in charge of our health and safety. These officials should be some of the first to tell the community what toxins are left on that land from the near-decade that Asarco burned unmanifested and also known illegal and secret toxic wastes for profit -- but so far this has not happened.
The Bankruptcy for ASARCO never discussed the EPA DOJ formerly confidential for settlement purposes only evidence used by the EPA and DOJ (and signed off by Asarco) that ASARCO had illegally and for profit burned unknown hazardous wastes for nearly ten years in El Paso TX and E. Helena MT. Why? Why has this evidence been ignored by the DOJ Federal Bankruptcy Trustee and courts?
Someone in the Federal DOJ DID make the facts of what ASARCO had done public (NYTimes 10/2006) - and the community wants the details. The government owes the community the truth of what is now in its soils, air and water from the nearly ten years of illicit military and industrial waste burning.