1/8 El Paso, TX: Call to Action: Rally to Shut Down Asarco!
- Call to Action: El Paso to rally on Saturday to prepare for Asarco hearing
More than 100 people are expected to join Senator Eliot Shapleigh in a press
conference on Saturday.
Who: Senator Eliot Shapleigh, Sunset Heights residents, UTEP students
What: Press conference to talk about Asarco’s air permit
Where: Mundy Park in Sunset Heights neighborhood
When: 11 A.M., Saturday, January 8. Information: 544-1990
January 06, 2004 - Senator Eliot Shapleigh
EL PASO - More than 100 people are expected to join
Senator Eliot Shapleigh in a press conference on
Saturday, January 8, where work will begin to ensure
that Asarco’s air renewal permit is not approved. The
press conference will be at 11 a.m. at Mundy Park in
the Sunset Heights neighborhood.
“Since at least 1970, ASARCO has covered up facts,
lied about health risks concerning the issue of lead,
arsenic, children's health and our future arises,”
Senator Eliot Shapleigh said. “Our community has never
had a full airing of the issues publicly, it is time
that we do.”
A preliminary hearing on the permit application has
been set for 10 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 27, at UTEP in
the Tomas Rivera Conference Center. At this
preliminary hearing, the ground rules and affected
parties will be established for the upcoming contested
case hearing, which is a legal proceeding similar to a
civil trial in state district court.
Under the pending air permit, ASARCO proposes to
release 7,300 tons of new pollutants (sulphur dioxide,
lead, other) at a site that is 400 yards from UTEP and
less than 1.5 miles from Downtown El Paso.
Currently, there are over 500 homes in El Paso with
lead and arsenic contamination caused by ASARCO, and
there is not enough money to pay for the cleanup and
the EPA is no longer cleaning up homes.
The matter comes before the State at a critical time
with regard to El Paso’s environmental standing. El
Paso has applied to be taken off of the State’s
“non-attainment list,” as it has made great strides in
meeting Clean Air Act standards. Senator Shapleigh
fears that the seven tons of lead, as well as other
pollutants ASARCO would be able to emit with this
permit, would put the city right back on the
The irony grows when you consider that ASARCO is
asking for the permit when they have a $79 million
dollar liability in El Paso, and have only contributed
one million to the cleanup. Senator Shapleigh believes
the company should take full responsibility for the
cleanup, or the permit should be denied.
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