El Paso-centric info and commentary from the Center of North America

NPT City: Asarco opponents aren’t done

An e-mail going around reminding folks that the Asarco issue is not close to finished:

ASARCO has announced that they will not be re-opening at the El Paso site, but the issue is not yet over with. The citizens in the Paso Del Norte Region have until May 3rd, 2009 to send in comments to the Department of Justice to ensure that the clean up fully protects our community. Here are the issues related to the clean-up:

– Request that a public hearing be held in El Paso, TX so that the citizens have the opportunity to express their opinions about the settlement.

– Request that at least $250 Million be allocated for cleaning up for both onsite and in the El Paso County neighborhoods. The initial $52 million under the current settlement ( which is to be split with Amarillo and Corpus Christi ) is not nearly enough to repair Asarco’s 100 years of lead, arsenic, and other hazardous contaminants to our region. In fact, two other cities with ASARCO smelters, Omaha, Nebraska and Tacoma, Washington have each had cleanup costs of about $250 million, and are still incurring additional costs they had not anticipated.

– Request that money be set aside for surveys and testing of adverse health affects on former ASARCO workers and citizens in the region due to health problems from the toxins that were emitted. Former ASARCO employees should be compensated for their medical expenses due to their employment with ASARCO.

– Request that all smokestacks on the ASARCO site be taken down as soon as possible. This will return the land to a condition conducive to economic development, and will eliminate the possibility of any future occupancy by other smelters.

Comments should be both e-mailed to: and mailed to: Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources Division, P.O. Box 7611, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, DC 20044-7611, and should refer to: In re Asarco LLC, DJ Ref. No. 90-11-3-08633.

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

April 14, 2009 at 9:34 am

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. The same people who have covered up the contamination at Asarco are now handling the clean-up, and we are tired of it. We want to know what toxic wastes are in our community from the illegal waste burning the EPA (& the Federal Dept. of Justice) said ASARCO did throughout the 1990’s (that means taking samples from the stacks before these ever come down!!!).

    The ASARCO smoke-stacks contain dust particles that identify this source as much as a bullet identifies a gun — scientists can identify particles down to single-dust-particles using SEM techniques.

    Our children are sick, our community is sick. The contamination is in our international aquifer and Rio Grande. The Federal State Dept. agrees that members of our community (workers at the IBWC American Dam) can’t get independent medical review in our region.

    Our City, our county and our Universities’ attorneys are protecting their bosses first, before they talk about these problems.

    That needs to change.


    April 14, 2009 at 9:44 pm

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