Sierra Club's CSI: El Paso

Located five minutes from downtown El Paso, and a stone's throw from heavily populated neighborhoods in Juárez, Mexico, the Asarco smelter has been a binational polluter for a century. In 2005, the Sierra Club hired El Paso resident and environmental engineer Mariana Chew as an organizer. She and other Club members participated in Asarco's permit-renewal hearing last year and have organized workshops and marches, trying to hold the company accountable for its environmental and public-health abuses. In January, a Club-commissioned study found high levels of lead and arsenic in the soil around the smelter and linked the toxic substances' molecular "fingerprint" to Asarco.

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