Please donate (see sidebar) to help recoup costs of the work to uncover and blog the information contained here


Saturday, April 10, 2010

"Asarco Accused Of Foot-Dragging In Interest Feud"

"Asarco Accused Of Foot-Dragging In Interest Feud

Law360, New York (April 09, 2010) -- ASM Capital LP and other bondholders battling Asarco LLC over post-petition interest on their claims have attacked the reorganized mining company for trying to prolong the dispute and sap creditors’ will to carry out a costly fight.

A chorus of roughly 12 different investment funds objected to Asarco’s recent bid to extend discovery deadlines in their dispute over post-petition interest on the unsecured claims, contending that the..."

"Asarco Accused Of Foot-Dragging In Interest Feud - Law360
ASM Capital LP and other bondholders battling Asarco LLC over post-petition interest on their claims have attacked the reorganized mining company for trying ..."

Friday, April 9, 2010

City of El Paso TX unanimously votes $600,000 ---awards contract for Asarco [development] study

...while community members and ex-asarco workers/IBWC federal workers go without independent medical review,  jobs, compensation -- and, the community STILL does not have access to basic data on dioxins, polonium/actinides, and the other poisons remaining here --

WHAT IS GOING ON?   Even the International La Paz JAC committee recommended a background contamination study be done (hasn't been - and, that resolution was passed a year ago)

And, when we ask for this data, the ASARCO El Paso clean-up Trustee (after four months) still does not address its absence.

This is appalling. 
El Paso is starting up a MEDICAL SCHOOL, and wants to move UTEP into Tier ONE status --- and, the Federal State Dept. says (3/05) that the FEDERAL WORKERS by ASARCO can't get independent medical review?   

UPDATE: City Council awards contract for Asarco Study - El Paso ...
From EL PASO - The city is moving forward with a new long-range plan that will look at what to do with about 460 acres of Asarco-owned land ...

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.

Asarco Trustee "Instructions to Bidders" leave out pertinent facts about what the EPA/DOJ stated ASARCO illegally and secretly did for nearly 10 years in El Paso TX (and E. Helena MT)

As of today (April 8, 2010) there has been no acknowledgment or reply from the Trustee.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Project Navigator leave out pertinent facts in smelter-history for potential bidders
Date: Sun, 04 Apr 2010 08:21:30 -0600

To:  Mr. Puga

sb:  Instructions to Bidders (Bids due by 4/23)

The following history provided to the potential bidders omits mention of the now public Federal DOJ/EPA Asarco confidential-for-settlement-purposes-only document (with attachments - nearly 75 pages) in which the EPA disclosed how Asarco had illegally burned secret unmanifested haz-wastes for profit for nearly ten years.  Because this was a secret-settlement-action it was omitted from disclosure in the civil consent decree you mention [to the bidders].   However, this information is now PUBLIC and you are obligated to include it in the history of this Asarco El Paso site, or you are withholding pertinent information from bidders about what they could be exposed to working at this site.   Also,..., a mandatory site tour for bidders was held 3-30 at the El Paso site.   I would like to know if you provided the bidders with haz-mat gear (masks and clothing) to protect them or not.

ASARCO Trustee group omits key information from the most important EPA/DOJ Asarco document

As of today (Thursday 8-Apr-10) there has been no acknowledgment or reply from the Asarco Trustee.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Project Navigator omits key information from the most important EPA/DOJ Asarco document
Date: Sun, 04 Apr 2010 20:05:47 -0600

To:  RPuga

sb:  Site Reports and Documents, "Department of Justice Memo, July 31, 1998"

Mr. Puga,  the "memo" you posted is not complete and it is not accurate. Please correct these mistakes immediately.
  • You have omitted the cover-letter sent detailing how and when that document became public-domain after 8 years of secrecy when the Federal DOJ Attorney decided to honor the TX P.I.A. request (NYTimes 10/2006)
  • You have added a document that was not part of that record (Mr. Clouse's email).  Mr. Clouse's email was written in response to my queries for that info/report and were meant to cover-up what actually happened.  This was not simply sham recycling - but the deliberate burning of unmanifested toxic-wastes for profit over many years according to that confidential-for-settlement-purposes only DOJ-EPA document.
  • You have omitted the remainder of that confidential-for-settlement-purposes only DOJ-EPA document (apparently DELIBERATELY since this has been available off the Newspapertree website and the epGTLO blog for years now) that details the shipments and company/source names of the illegal hazardous-wastes identified by the EPA/DOJ and provides even more text and discussion.
  • You placed this document at the very END of your list when it is the single most important document in this ASARCO saga -- so much so that Rep. Reyes, Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, made the statement that ASARCO had paid MILLIONS on condition that the details of what it had done would never become public.   The DOJ however has released the information publicly, and this information and all related to it is now PUBLIC DOMAIN, no matter how much ASARCO hopes otherwise.
  • You titled this CONFIDENTIAL-FOR-SETTLEMENT-PURPOSES-ONLY DOJ-EPA Asarco 73 page document as a "Memo" and cut it down to 28 pages!!

Please correct this immediately.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

List of Companies wanting to be Contractors for the El Paso ASARCO Trustee include many with CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

List of Respondents to the RFQ
3. Brown & Caldwell
4. CCI
5. CDM
6. CH2M Hill
7. CRA
8. CT Environmental
9. EA Engineering
12. ERM
13. Golder
14. Malcolm Pirnie
15. Premier Chemicals
16. RMT
17. RPS
18. SHAW
19. Solar DeTox
20. Tetra Tech
21. TRC
22. URS
23. Weston Solutions

Annotated Map of ASARCO site

This map leaves out the old massive Lead (Pb) dump NE of the site next to the NE drainage area.

See Project Navigator site for this slide (PDF format)

Why is ASARCO using the same contractor to look at Water Contamination remediation at El Paso TX and E. Helena MT?

.... maybe because the illegal toxic secret wastes from ENCYCLE TX all
those years went to both E. Helena and El Paso TX? WE STILL HAVE NOT

Discharging where?

"The Texas Custodial Trust, in compliance with the storm water discharge permit at the former Asarco Smelter in El Paso, will begin discharging storm water from it’s storage ponds effective Friday, February 19, 2010. The ponds were analyzed and compared to the daily maximum effluent limitations prescribed in the permit for compliance purposes. Click here to view the analysis results."