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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Closure - not Disclosure: ignoring the Poisons from Asarco's secret past...

Since June 2009, El Paso Texas has received about $180 Million in ARRA (american recovery and reinvestment act) Federal funds for projects and groups with property near the ASARCO El Paso secret-haz-waste site.

Despite the release of the DOJ EPA Asarco 70+page confidential for settlement purposes only document proving that ASARCO burned secret hazardous wastes for nearly ten years to make money (NYTimes 10/06), THE HAZ-WASTE from those activities STILL REMAINS SECRET.   Authorities failed to require the ASARCO Bankruptcy Courts to consider the liabilities from this, during the entire ASARCO Bankruptcy case. 

At Asarco Tacoma WA, the Asarco contamination was shown to have covered property for nearly 1000 square miles (and that site was 1/3'rd the size of our site).

Meanwhile, the courts awarded El Paso TX less than 53 Million to clean up ASARCO.

ASARCO Baker-Botts wants $142 million in fees, while millions of people in the Paso del Norte got 55 Million-dollars to clean up ASARCO

"Law360, New York (April 29, 2010) -- Facing terse objections from Asarco LLC over a whopping $142 million fee request, Baker Botts LLP is seeking to compel the reorganized mining company to substantiate claims that the firm is overbilling for 52 months of bankruptcy counsel.

On Wednesday, Baker Botts urged Judge Richard S. Schmidt of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas to order Asarco to provide discovery elaborating on the alleged..."

Sunday, April 25, 2010

the Scrap Metal recycling business -- and Radioactive metals -- Did ASARCO El Paso handle Radioactive materials?

There were no radiation alarms or meters at ASARCO El Paso to our knowledge.   We DO KNOW that EPA data shows that the BETA RADIATION LEVEL in El Paso just before the smelter shut down was the HIGHEST IN THE NATION.    Our community still waits for the government to let our community know the levels of polonium around the smelter (polonium is commonly given off by smelters).   We do know that the brine concentrator Asarco El Paso used was rated to handle LLRW (Low level radioactive waste).  We do not know where the stuff went that was removed by the concentrator.   The local regional landfill  about five miles from the Asarco El Paso site (and right along the US-Mexico border) used a radiation meter for a time, and then stopped -- data from that dump shows an increasing Radium gradient in its groundwater along the slope of that dump.

What is our government hiding that our community, that the IBWC workers/State Dept., that the ex-workers, that the La Paz Accord JAC committee -- cannot get the government to disclose to the community EVEN AFTER THE FEDERAL DOJ MADE the EPA-DOJ-ASARCO 73 page confidential for settlement purposes only document, PUBLIC??

"....then there is what came into the small shop owned by Deepak Jain: a piece, or pieces, of metal blamed for an alarming radiation scare this month that hospitalized seven people and caused the police to temporarily cordon off an area barely 10 miles from India’s Parliament. Some experts declared it one of the most troubling cases of radiation exposure in recent years....For years, India and other developing countries, particularly China, have imported different categories of waste from developed countries as a lucrative, if controversial, business...."

"Grupo Mexico, the nation's biggest copper miner, is set to report a sharp jump in quarterly results"

"Google Web Alert for: asarco
PREVIEW-Grupo Mexico profit seen up on Asarco, copper prices - Topix
Grupo Mexico, the nation's biggest copper miner, is set to report a sharp jump in quarterly results as it benefits from its acquisition of Arizona's Asarco ...