El Paso County and City leaders are still working to take down a proposed medical waste facility set to be built in the Lower Valley.
KTSM has been following the back and forth process since October 2017. At a news conference on Wednesday, local leaders said the company doesn’t have the proper permits to build where it wants to. They’re hoping the state will revoke the facility’s approval to operate.
“This is again a very water intensive process. So all of the water waste, is then put into the sewer system,” County Commissioner Vince Perez said against the proposed medical waste facility. It’s slated to be built off Billy the Kid street in the Lower Valley – an area with neighborhoods, parks, and businesses.
The company behind the plan, Medcare Environmental Solutions, said the biohazardous waste would be treated before being disposed in the sewers. It also claimed some of the waste could be recycled into energy. However, local leaders said that’s not true.
“So now you’re going to have this industrial facility located here where you’re going to have 100,000 pounds of medical waste that’s going to be cleaned through this water process that’s ultimately going to end up backing in this drinking water system,” Perez shared.
City Rep. Claudia Ordaz-Perez said she’s open to talks with the company, but adds the facility just doesn’t belong in this specific spot, “This is just the beginning of the conversation. Say this isn’t the most suitable location and they look for another location in El Paso. We have to have a broader conversation, a community wide discussions on where these types of facilities are best suited.”
The City and County plan to have further discussions on defining what a medical waste facility is under the city’s code, and where is more suitable for the proposed facility.
Medcare has said in the past that it’s committed to taking care of customers in El Paso, and that its following the rules set by the state of Texas.
If the state revokes its permit to operate, Medcare could appeal.