16 July 2007 at 7:55:20 AM
Where does another state's toxic sewer waste go? Why, to Texas, of course, especially when the contract is first negotiated by a crime family. Who owns what? Mafia owned sludge *ranch* MERCO was closed in 2001 after the *family* went bankrupt. Before that, the Scalamandre's (who are now in prison) paid yearly *tribute* payments to the Luchesse Crime Family to help them get NYC contracts such as the $168 million and $400 million NYC Dept of Environmental Protection Sludge Removal Contracts. (You might remember that Henry Hill, who story was the basis of the *Goodfellows* movie, is a former Luchesse Crime Family member). Where'd the sludge get shipped? To Texas.
A decade and a half ago, New York-based Merco Joint Ventures started hauling treated New York City sewage to scrubland just outside Sierra Blanca, spraying tons of it daily on thousands of acres.
The spraying stopped in 2001, and the company went bankrupt.
Have you read the book "Toxic Sludge Is Good for You" by Stauber? It's really a must read for details about what this sludge really contains.
After Merco's rejection in Oklahoma, it turned to an alternate site -- the Mexican border town of Sierra Blanca (population 500), one of the poorest towns in one of the poorest counties in Texas. Once again, citizens quickly mobilized to protest Merco's plans to spread sludge on desert grazing land -- nine miles from a planned repository for nuclear waste from power plants in Maine and Vermont.
To placate the town, Merco offered money to buy a new fire engine, donated $10,000 to the school board, set up a scholarship fund, threw barbecues, handed out Christmas turkeys, and promised $50,000 a year to the local community development corporation. Merco executives also contributed $5,000 to Texas Governor Ann Richards, whose appointees on the water commission approved Merco's permit in record time.
"These host community benefits are considered normal in these types of projects," explained Merco representative Kelly Sarber. 
Critics, however, noted that the money Merco was spending in Austin and Sierra Blanca was a drop in the bucket compared to the $168 million the company was receiving from New York City.
So, Merco bankrupt, Mafia people in jail.......But, Jerry Patterson of the Texas General Land Office bought the MERCO sludge dump land and guess what's coming BACK.
Texas now owns all the Sierra Blanca land, called Mile High Ranch, that from 1992 until 2001 was one of the nation's largest sludge dumps. The state's purchase set off whispers and rumors in the community about whether the stink would return.
"I can tell you right now the town doesn't want that," Sheriff West said. "We already had about (enough) with that stinking stuff."
Documents obtained under the Texas Public Information Act show a series of legal settlements and contracts through which Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson agreed to buy nearly 100,000 acres from Merco's former owners for more than $4.5 million.
Spokesman Jim Sudyam said Patterson was unavailable to comment for this story. Sudyam, who agreed to comment only by e-mail, said the land was purchased "for its appreciation in value and to develop commercial activity on the acreage that will provide a new income stream to the Permanent School Fund, which helps pay for the state's share of public education in Texas."
At the same time the state bought each chunk of land, it also agreed to lease the acreage to the Texas Southwest Range & Wildlife Foundation, a group whose members were heavily involved in the project that first brought sludge to Sierra Blanca.
Huh? The naming of these groups boggles the mind. Sounds like a group that would protext the environment INSTEAD OF SHIPPING IN WASTE SLUDGE.
The final purchase-lease deal was for the 64,000 acres where New York City's sewage came to rest and where a mining company blasted a hole in the side of Sierra Blanca Mountain to extract rock.
The lease, signed in late 2005, allows the foundation to seek out commercial enterprises to benefit the foundation and the school fund. The foundation is dedicated to keeping the huge "ranch" in one piece and to conserving its habitat for wildlife.
About Bill Addington, one of the people fighting this; part of an email passed on by Peter Stern.
We must always remember, an attack on any part of our region, is an attack on all of us.
This is a plea for help, we need your support and angry voices to protect Sierra Blanca from again becoming a open surface disposal dumping ground and sacrifice area.
Please do what you can to make your feelings known to your State Representatives and Senators, and to the Texas GLO.
We also need resources to fight, please send any donations you can, so we can continue to fight.
We as Concerned Sierra Blanca residents, had our first meeting to discuss what we can do to stop this newest outrage.
We have a new petition for Hudspeth residents and another for Texas residents opposing the state of Texas involvement and promotion of toxic sludge on public lands in Sierra Blanca.
Send your donations to:
Save Sierra Blanca
P.O. Box 306
Sierra Blanca, Texas 7985l
Tags: sierra blanca toxic sludge
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1 - Carmen Alvarez
7 Sep 2016 @ 5:54:22 AM
Interesting and sad story about Merco Joint Ventures. I admire the founder of Save Sierra Blanca. I am doing a story for the Mexican newspaper Excelsior. But it is 5.45 am. I am very tired. I don't see a phone number.
My resource and my contribution is my work, my desire to learn about the binational campaign to stop a nuclear waste dump. I like Mr. Addington.
You have my e-mail. Best regards. Carmen
2 - salon
7 Sep 2016 @ 2:26:07 PM
@Carmen Alvarez- The second main link is from the El Paso Times. You may want to contact them to see if Bill Addington still associated, etc.
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3 - becky
31 Oct 2016 @ 11:13:31 AM
lol i live in sierra blanca id like to know why this is not posted all over this town and towns around it? this is the first time hearing this. wow really, let jack( sunset ranch owner) sell the land on the net he dont tell anything about what has happened here or whats coming just sells it to low income people one way for the gov to get rid of people they call not wanted welfair cases
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