El Paso Times – El Paso environment: EPA, TCEQ asked to test for toxic compounds at Asarco

Giant transformers, capacitors and other electric equipment containing a banned toxic chemical vanished from sight at Asarco, but records at the former smelter do not indicate whether they were disposed of properly, says a letter sent to state and federal environmental regulators.

The letter, sent by an attorney representing a group of former Asarco employees, asks that the Environmental Protection Agency and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality immediately mandate testing at a furnace where the equipment and contaminated oil allegedly were burned. It asks that the furnace, soil around the furnace, material containing valuable metals inside the furnace and water used to clean the material before it was sold, be tested for polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, and other toxic compounds.

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