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NPT Capitol: TCEQ to appeal Shapleigh’s right to Asarco documents

According to State Senator Eliot Shapleigh’s office, the TCEQ have decided to appeal District Judge Scott H. Jenkins’ April 16th decision obliging them to release certain documents.

The documents, which Shapleigh requested though a statute that allows lawmakers to see otherwise confidential data, concern communications between the TCEQ and Asarco. Shapleigh has said he believes the documents will show dodgy dealing between Asarco and the TCEQ in the run up to a February 2008 decision to allow the El Paso copper smelter to re-open.

“Both the attorney general and the district court agree with us that the information we requested is public. When we get it, we will be very interested in why the TCEQ fought so hard to hide it,” Shapleigh told NPT.

One Austin source said that the decision might be a delaying tactic on the part of TCEQ, worried that the documents may well reveal ex parte communications between them and Asarco.

More to follow

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

May 4, 2009 at 12:15 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

4 Responses

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  1. This is a national story. Why would they be fighting so hard (this is their third appeal) if they weren’t trying to hard something? What are they trying to hide?

    National Story

    May 4, 2009 at 4:46 pm

  2. Elliott:

    If you plan to fight for the production of documents, you best have about $30,000 lying around for whey the courts treat you like they did Melina Castro.

    That is why in America, you don’t sit idly by when the rights of one citizen are trampled — gives everyone the impression they can do it to all.


    May 5, 2009 at 2:31 pm

  3. It was the EPA which met with ASARCO in 2001, and concealed the Asarco regional contamination from us.

    The TCEQ deferred to the EPA when testing for Asarco toxic-waste here, saying “it was outside their [the TCEQ’s] jurisdiction”. The EPA then did the testing and asked SAIC, a high-security military contractor to come in and do it for them.

    Until the EPA discloses what Asarco toxic-wastes are here from the years of Asarco’s illegal unmanifested/un-tracked toxic waste burning — this whole region will remain affected. Our EPA oversees not only Texas but New Mexico.

    It was the EPA who has refused to add the massive ASARCO storm-water-pond SPILL to their spill-database so that NOAA can do an investigation of the Rio Grande contamination, like NOAA did for the ASARCO contamination in Corpus Christi.

    I wonder what agreements the EPA has with our industry – like Asarco – that they were able to write a “confidential settlement document” to the Federal DOJ in 1998 about Asarco’s illegal activities and then HOLD THIS CONTAMINATION SECRET FROM ALL OF US FOR EIGHT YEARS.

    Our government needs to demand that the TCEQ, the EPA and the DOJ start to be straight-forward with the peoples of the Paso del Norte.


    May 5, 2009 at 3:58 pm

  4. Melina sued for city documents she ALREADY HAD ACCESS to.

    TCEQ is keeping the documents from a state legislator when there’s an express statute giving him the authority to review them. TCEQ is trying to override the law.

    National Story

    May 6, 2009 at 10:39 am

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