Email from Wayne Daniel to Representative Niland, with Response from Site Trustee Roberto Puga

Roberto Puga’s response is bolded.

Email Subject Heading: Question about ASARCO demolition

Dear Representative Niland:

I found out (by checking that it’s 3.17 miles or 3.2 miles (they gave me two conflicting figures) from my place (Wallington Plaza Apartments, 200 Wallington Drive) to the ASARCO site (2301 W. Paisano). That’s if I follow the streets. When the stacks are knocked down (April 26), the pollution will follow a more direct route to my place.

Is it safe for those of us who live near ASARCO to stay in our homes that weekend? Someplace I read that somebody is arranging for residents of the area to stay in hotels that weekend. Do you have information on that, which you may wish to share with our apartment manager (533-6103)? (If not, I can make some other arrangement.)

Thank you very much.

Wayne Daniel

Response from Roberto Puga:

Dear Mr. Daniel,

Thanks for reaching out to Representative Niland and the Trust with your question.

At the distance your apartment is to the site, you should not experience any adverse effects from the demolition of the ASARCO stacks. You are more than sufficiently far away to not have vibration or dust issues. I’ve included below information about the demolition process, dust mitigation measures and vibration monitoring.

Please do not hesitate to send us any other questions or comments.


Roberto Puga

Attached link: Dust and Vibration Public Awareness Information

Response from Wayne Daniel:

To Roberto Puga:

Thank you, Mr. Puga, for your response to my question. Thanks also for assuring me that, living three miles from ASARCO, I am in no danger.

But my concern is somewhat broader than that. What are the potential dangers for neighbors who live closer to ASARCO than three miles? I appreciate the instruction to turn off air-conditioners, close windows, etc., to keep dust from getting into the house. Maybe those instructions should be more widely distributed, in Spanish and English, to make sure all persons concerned (including those who don’t have Internet access) have a chance to read them.

ALSO, a lot of people are concerned that this “dust” from ASARCO is not just dust. It’s believed that it contains poisons of various kinds. People may need some reassurance along that line.

Thank you again.

Best wishes,
Wayne Daniel

Response from Roberto Puga:

Hello Mr. Daniel,

Thanks for contacting us with your concerns. I appreciate the input, because it helps us improve our outreach efforts to the community. I address your questions and concerns below, but please do not hesitate to contact me again if you have more questions or need more clarification.

We have collected samples from the two stacks, and had them analyzed for metals, volatile organic compounds and semi-volatile organic compounds. Based on the results of the sampling and analysis, metals were detected in the concrete samples from the stack, which is expected given that concrete is composed of many materials containing metal (gravel, sand, cement, steel reinforcement). Based on results from air-dispersion modeling, these measured metals concentrations will not cause exceedances of standards for metals in air at the property boundary during stack demolition. Very low concentrations of a few VOCs and SVOCs constituents were also detected or reported at estimated concentrations and do not pose a risk during demolition. You can see the analysis results, and get more detailed information about the sampling, at our website. The webpage also has information about the extensive dust control measure that we are using during the demolition.

The instructions, and other information, have been posted on our website and given to the media. The information is posted in both English and Spanish. During the week of the event we will be having a press conference at the site to once again inform the El Paso and Juarez media about the event, dust controls and the dust/vibration awareness information. We will also post a notice in the El Paso Times the week of the event.

Again, thanks for reaching out to us.

Roberto Puga, P.G.

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