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Monday, January 17, 2011

ASARCO El Paso Redevelopment TVNews Story: Costs of secret liabilities from illegal hazardous waste disposal for years? (PRICELESS!)

Apparently a "redevelopment plan" for ASARCO site was released to the public today (  and it is extremely scary to those of us who realize how contaminated that site must actually be ---  Please watch this film clip - it is very short.  Remember that a UTEP geology professor recently was willing to go public stating that simply paving over the Asarco site as planned will not make it "safe".

"google alert:
Plan El Paso 2010 Includes Asarco Redevelopment Video KVIA El Paso
Plan El Paso 2010 Includes Asarco Redevelopment. ....


Asarco asset sales to date: $539,313.70:: Undisclosed liabilities from Secret Hazmat wastes? PRICELESS

Asarco asset sales to date: $539,313.70:: Undisclosed liabilities from Secret Hazmat wastes?  PRICELESS
"Recasting the Smelter
ASARCO Asset Sales (updated 12/08/10)
Sale No.     Item     Date     Amount
1     Rails/Rail ties     7/12/10     $215,000.00
2     2 horizontal cryogenic liquid oxygen above-ground tanks     3/5/10     $130,500.00
3     Slag Pots     6/10/10     $60,000.00
....[etc etc]
TOTAL TO DATE     $539,313.70"

Asarco El Paso TX Clean-up Trustee and contractors proceeding with demolition while not disclosing what Asarco did

Why do our EPA investigators, our TCEQ Commissioners, our Federal DOJ Attorneys continue to look the other way and allow the Trustee to tear down these structures and sell/dispose of these, without telling any of us what illegal and secret hazardous wastes remain?  

What happened here, in El Paso Texas from the years of Asarco burning illegal hazardous wastes for YEARS and YEARS SECRETLY for (in the EPA's words to the DOJ) to make money --- what happened here that was so so very bad that even today over 12 years later, the powers that be are afraid to tell the public the details of what Asarco had done?

Rep. Reyes, chair of the House Intelligence committee, said that Asarco paid millions on the condition that details of what it had done would never become public.

Despite legal notification, the Federal DOJ Asarco Bankruptcy Trustee allowed the Asarco Bankruptcy court to continue to hide those details.

Despite a NYTimes front page article and a DOJ Attorney releasing the Secret DOJ-EPA Confidential for Settlement purposes only 72 page document detailing what ASARCO had done, over five years later the Paso del Norte community has not been given the details of what contamination remains here from what ASARCO did.

The Asarco El Paso site Trustee writes on their website:  "Dear Stakeholders, The Trust has been extremely busy working at the Former ASARCO Smelter Site to ensure a safe demolition and thorough investigation/remediation process. Current major activities include:  Removing the Contop/Reverb structure to ascertain the presence of valuable matte and concentrate materials,"

Why hasn't the Trustee allowed sampling of this structure by independent community groups - or even (free!)  RADON sampling inside the buildings?  What on earth is the Trustee afraid of?

The International JAC (La Paz Accord) committee passed a resolution recommending that background contamination data be gathered --- and THIS RESOLUTION WAS THEN IGNORED.