"If the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is serious about helping residents of low-income neighborhoods damaged by industrial pollution, it will take over the Asarco cleanup, a former smelter employee told the agency chief on Thursday.
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson spent an hour listening to residents of El Paso, Vinton, Westway, Sunland Park and other locations who spoke of health problems they believe are related to pollution from a steel plant, a landfill, chemical plants, dairies and Asarco, the shuttered smelter.
Health problems discussed ranged from allergic reactions and asthma to multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease.
Jackson was on a two-day Texas visit to collect information on health and environmental conditions, with a focus on minority and low-income populations that sometimes bear disproportionate burdens of industrial pollution. Her staff took written testimony, documentation and other information during the meeting, attended by about 150 people, at the El Paso Community College Northwest Campus."