Copper giant Asarco, and its Corpus Christi, Texas, subsidiary Encycle, illegally burned hazardous waste for years at an El Paso smelter while pretending to recycle metals, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. In a 1998 internal memorandum, the agency said the company used its permit to extract metals from hazardous waste products as a cover to burn the waste, saving the high cost of proper disposal.

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