EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has approved the application for a medical waste facility in the Lower Valley.
MedCare Environmental Solutions Inc. applied to register and operate the medical waste facility.
City and county officials are trying to block the facility from being built along Billy the Kid Street.
“This company is seeking to import discarded organs and other body parts and tissue removed during surgery, human blood and blood products, contaminated syringes, used scalpels, as well as animal carcasses, body parts, and bedding of animals that have been infected with agents that may produce human infection from Arizona, New Mexico, and other parts of Texas,” said County Commissioner Vince Perez, who is one of the elected officials opposing the facility. “This is deeply concerning that this would be in an area that is densely populated with thousands of residents, seven schools, a nursing home, and five recreation areas such as city parks. This is why the vast majority of these types of facilities in Texas are located in industrial parks that are away from residents and community gathering spaces. I hope the TCEQ Commissioners will see that this location is incompatible with the surrounding community.”
They’re concerned about what it could do to the water supply, but MedCare has said the waste would be properly treated and would pose no risk.
“Commissioner Perez and I will be submitting a motion to overturn the Executive Director’s decision to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality,” said City Rep. Ordaz Perez. “It’s deeply troubling this application was approved despite the harmful impacts this type of facility could have to surrounding neighborhoods, schools, parks, and churches.”
MedCare seeks to process 100,000 pounds of medical waste per day in El Paso.
Local leaders and community members now have until July 14 to ask the commissioners of the state agency to overturn the decision.