Local geologist says ASARCO demolition won’t impact environment much

By Jesse Martinez

Picture taken by Chas Broomfield

EL PASO, Texas —

Health concerns remain surrounding the demolition of ASARCO, but a local geologist said the demolition won’t do much more environmental damage than what already existed.

Many El Pasoans are concerned about the potential environmental impact of the ASARCO smokestacks crumbling down because the bricks in the stacks hold many toxic chemicals.

Joshua Villalobos, a geologist who teaches at El Paso Community College, said he doesn’t see how the smokestacks coming down will produce much more environmental damage than what was caused by more than a century of smelting heavy metals like copper, arsenic and lead.

“If they do a good job of lining it and covering it with asphalt, then there’s no chance of water hitting it, seeping back into the groundwater, into the river. So, I can’t imagine the smokestacks being any worse than what’s already there on site,” Villalobos said.

Villalobos said the seismic waves the University of Texas at El Paso geologists plan to record during the ASARCO and City Hall demolitions. Will help them map the underground terrain beneath the area. He said those findings will determine where aquifers, caverns or other underground features may be located, which could help them deal with any future concerns.

Source: http://www.kfoxtv.com/news/news/local-geologist-says-asarco-demolition-wont-impact/nXKQJ/