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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

EPA offers information. But not the information we were promised. And, will they agree to split samples?

Cc: "Gray,David" , "Fisher,Charles" , "Edlund,Carl" , "Phillips,Pam" , "Meyer,John" , "Anderson,Israel"
Subject: Re: El Paso Demolition
Date: Apr 16, 2013 10:24 PM

Mr. Sanchez,

Will your bosses authorize you to give us an official chain of custody split stack sample(s)?  We have other samples in proper storage, and this is not an idle request.  Although the TCEQ has cooperated, the EPA has refused twice to release split samples to us.

Otherwise I have no confidence in your test results, given the secrecy and lies our community has had to handle and deal with since this began back in 1987.   Our health, environmental governmental agencies, our courts have all failed to protect public health; and, worse of all given the documents we now have we realize the extent of it.  NO ONE in eight years in any FOIA or PIA request let us know that ASARCO had been acting as a High Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Contractor for the U.S. D.O.E. handling sites like Hanford and Oakridge.  In 1998 when the smelter decided to idle the plant, El Paso had the highest Beta radiation levels in the nation according to the EPA.    When I asked BIll Luthans and his health physicist about it, they played word games with me, saying it was normal background radiation and did not tell us about Molycorp and its high levels of NORM going through our plants.  Luthans has been here through the 1990's, serving as chair of the La Paz "JAC" for the USA along with an Asarco executive for many years.   That JAC has not even responded to the critical Radon problem documented in El Paso TX years ago, and presented to the JAC.

Several years ago, Mr. Charles Fisher came here to the Asarco El Paso site and refused (along with the TCEQ rep. and Puga)  to release to me a 2 inch piece of slag from the Ionics Brine Distillation plant' fire that handled all the site's process waters, was installed during the 1990's, and was rated to remove LLRW.  He was not helpful, gave no new information, and maintained the status quo for the EPA.  Meanwhile, Puga was picking other stuff off the ground in buildings and handing it to me to "save".

You know that our wind picks up late afternoon and goes full force at night.  Dust suppression "to control dust generated during the movement of stack concrete materials to the onsite landfill." will be of no help to us.  The dust can be tasted in the air and people need dust masks.  Good rated dust masks.  Handed out for free by our Public Health Dept.  Oops.  We do not have a public health dept. as of 3 years ago.  What shall we do -- ask our government for help?  Ask our medical community?  Ask our community leading citizens? (quote: "this site is perfect for infill"  "is a valuable piece of real estate" "do not worry, the smoke stayed in the valley".

Thank you for writing but your response is hardly reassuring after the eight years I have put into trying to get actual scientific samples and real data from our government.

IF YOU WANT MY CONFIDENCE then release all the invoices listed by invoice number in the 1998 73 page EPA US D.O.J. confidential for settlement purposes only document.  I was promised copies.   I am still waiting, years later.  I wonder why there is such resistance to releasing what is Public Information (once the invoice numbers were released in a public document, they became public information).  Release a full metals analysis (like the one on my blog site done by a local citizen on his attic dust) on the sludge sent from the Asarco El Paso main circulation pond to the dump in Robstown TX for disposal in 2006.  Answer the questions submitted by the children of Anapra N.M. regarding Asarco El Paso to the N.M. Governor/Ron Curry.

You know that this site, even more than East Helena MT should be a Superfund Site, to be protective of public health and drinking water.

Heather Mcmurray, m.s. biological sciences, certified science teacher

-----Original Message----- 
From: "Sanchez, Carlos" 
Sent: Apr 15, 2013 2:39 PM
To: "" 
Cc: "Gray, David" , "Fisher, Charles" , "Edlund, Carl" , "Phillips, Pam" , "Meyer, John" , "Anderson, Israel" 
Subject: El Paso Demolition

Ms McMurray,
I am sending to you information regarding the testing of the ASARCO stack conducted prior to demolition.  Additional stack testing will be conducted prior to placement of the concrete materials in the onsite cell. Also, dust samples collected during demolition activities will be tested.  As soon as that information is available, we will provide it to you.
During the handling of demolition materials, dust suppression methods, in accordance with the site workplan, will be used to control dust generated during the movement of stack concrete materials to the onsite landfill.  CAS

Carlos A. Sanchez
Chief, Ark/Tx Section (6SF-RA)
Superfund Division

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