Email from Peggy McNiel to Site Trustee, Roberto Puga

Email Subject Heading: Update

After attending Tuesday’s (11/27/12) council meeting and seeing your hair raising presentation of what high wind conditions could do to the Asarco stacks, it is amazing to me that any rational person could possibly want to attempt to preserve the smokestacks.

As you noted the upfront costs to strengthen just the highest stack would be over $5 million, maintenance thereafter is at least $100,000 to $150,000 per year. So over 50 years, we are looking at $10 to $20 million. Plus, we have to add in the lost revenue of $5 to $5.5 million a year since the land is unmarketable with the stacks. That’s another $250 to $275 million over the 50 year period. That doesn’t include liability costs or any other unforeseen events minor or catastrophic.

Fortunately, for us citizens, you are doing your job and pointing out to all interested parties the enormous responsibility,in terms of costs,an entity would have to assume to safely preserve the smokestacks.

Unfortunately, for you, those who are unhappy with the message, want to change the message, make it less costly and demonize the messenger–who would be you.

I and a group of us now up to 50 and still growing would like to applaud you for explaining some very difficult concepts to non-engineers so that we can understand how very dangerous the Asarco smokestacks could be if not properly maintained in perpetuity.

Many still don’t get this even though, we think you have done an outstanding job of explaining it.

We are ready for you to continue with the original plan which includes demolition of the smokestacks.

Thank you, Mr. Puga.

Peggy McNiel
Cc:members of the group of 50 with e-mails Bcc:James Sher of TCEQ and Chuck Barnes of the EPA

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