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City offered businessman $40K to relocate proposed waste facility; man asked for $500K

Homeowners living near a proposed medical waste facility in the lower valley are speaking out, including some who are just now learning about the proposal.

An El Paso city representative said Thursday the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality did not notify all residents living near the proposed facility, which would be located on the 9100 block of Billy the Kid.

Letters regarding the proposal were sent out to some, but not all homeowners. In fact, the city representative, the county commissioner and the state representative representing the area were not notified.

Once city, county and state leaders learned about the facility, they contacted the TCEQ, who acknowledged the mistake and restarted the application process so all homeowners and agencies could be notified.

“The fact that they tried to keep it on the down low is very concerning,” said homeowner Victor Ramirez, who lives behind the proposed facility.

Right now, the proposed facility would process five to twn tons of medical waste, like body parts, body fluids and other waste.

“It’s alarming. I mean, I’m pretty sure I’m not the only resident here that’d be concerned. I’m pretty sure that if you ask any one of our neighbors, they’d pretty much be against it,” Ramirez told ABC-7.

For this part, Amarillo businessman, Nord Sorensen, the man behind the venture, told ABC-7 the facility is high-tech and no pollutants from the processed medical waste would be released into the air or water supply.

A public hearing is scheduled for October 8, 2018. Sorensen says he will travel to El Paso and attend the meeting.

District 6 City Representative, Claudia Ordaz Perez, who not only represents the area, but also lives near the facility, says the City offered Sorensen nearly $40,000 dollars to move his facility to a more remote area of the county.

Ordaz told ABC-7 Sorensen originally agreed, but then asked for half-a-million dollars.

Sorensen was not willing to discuss financial matters with ABC-7.

KVIA ABC-7

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