Year in Review: A star over Big Tex

Four years, 1,200 cubic yards of asbestos-contaminated soil, a $500,000 cleanup bill (still in need of a billing address), and the Big Tex saga is finally winding down. The EPA’s remediation project, scheduled to finish just before Christmas, will remove the last of the tremolite asbestos traces from the site along the San Antonio River, making way for James Lifshutz’s expansion of the adjacent Blue Star art-and-commerce project.

EPA had originally hoped to be done by Thanksgiving, but soil contamination extended further than they originally thought. As of press time, EPA had identified 47 contaminated grids for soil excavation and removal, and had finished with 41 of them.

Some of the same neighborhood watchdogs who first called attention to the site’s link to Superfund mining town Libby, Montana, last week raised a ruckus about a pile of Big Tex dirt that EPA said belonged to the City — echoing the early finger-pointing and shoulder-shrugging that initially delayed testing and scrubbing of the property. Onsite Coordinator Eric Delgado explained to the Current that the soil in question had been cut out by the city to place abutments for the pedestrian bridge that’s part of the San Antonio River Improvements Project. Contractors had removed the pile by press time.

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