SENATOR ELIOT SHAPLEIGH AND MAYOR JOHN COOK TO HOLD PRESS CONFERENCE ON TCEQ VOTE ON ASARCO'S AIR PERMIT
February 12, 2008
On Wednesday, Feb. 13, Senator Eliot Shapleigh and El Paso Mayor John Cook will hold a press conference to discuss the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's (TCEQ) vote on ASARCO's El Paso air permit.
Written by Senator Eliot Shapleigh, www.shapleigh.org
EL PASO – On Wednesday, Feb. 13, Senator Eliot Shapleigh and El Paso Mayor John Cook will hold a press conference to discuss the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's (TCEQ) vote on ASARCO's El Paso air permit. TCEQ will vote on the permit that afternoon at 1 p.m. in Austin.
Whether ASARCO reopens will define the El Paso community for the next generation. We will brand ourselves either as a polluted city dependent on 19th century industry, or a clean city on the move in a 21st century economy.
Recently, the El Paso Times said, "ASARCO needs to clean up, close up and go away. This polluting industry has outlived its usefulness and welcome in a city that has its eyes on progress."
Here is ASARCO's record:
- ASARCO has left taxpayers from 75 communities in 16 states—from Tacoma, Washington to Corpus Christi, Texas—with almost $11 billion in environmental remediation and clean-up costs;
- ASARCO has contaminated at least 1,097 El Paso homes and businesses with lead and arsenic;
- ASARCO was fined $5.5 million and ordered to conduct $15 million in environmental projects by the EPA for allegedly illegally transporting, storing, and processing hazardous waste in El Paso;
- ASARCO still owes the City of El Paso $1.11 million, not including penalties and interest, for a street paving project in El Paso;
- ASARCO is asking Texas for permission to put 7,000 tons of new pollutants into our air;
- ASARCO is also asking permission to put 4.7 tons of lead back into our air—more than any plant in the U.S.; and
- ASARCO is also asking permission to put 6,673 tons of sulfur dioxide back into our air—more than 10 times what the next highest polluter puts into El Paso air.
With El Paso's Medical Center of the Americas growing every day, thousands of troops and new businesses coming to El Paso, and Downtown ready to revitalize, now is the time to make our move to build better jobs.
All across America, cities with clean air are the ones that get the best jobs and have the brightest future. Right now, El Paso is the place to be—let’s move forward to a bright future, away from a polluted past.
For more information on ASARCO visit www.shapleigh.org/reporting_to_you. Click on "Asarco in El Paso – Nov. 2007."
The press conference will be held at 11:00 a.m. (CST) in the Texas Senate Press Room – 2E.9.
What: Press conference on TCEQ's vote on ASARCO's El Paso air quality permit
Where: Texas Senate Press Room – 2E.9When: Wednesday, February 13, 2008 - 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (CST)
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