Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Essential Question: How did ASARCO commit acts of environmental injustice by contaminating the soil, water, and air in El Paso and exposing workers to toxic, hazardous materials?
Over the next week, we will read Copper Stain and discuss the environmental toxic legacy of ASARCO, learn from ASARCO workers, and view the exhibit on Smeltertown.
Focused Notes for Copper Stain
Chapters 9, 10, 11
*files will be posted as we read the chapters
pollution- material in the natural environment that does not belong there, and that damages the environment and living things, including people
inequality- unfairness; a situation in which some people gain privileges simply because they are members of a group defined by race, wealth, sexual orientation or other factors. Those who are not members of those groups are denied the same privileges.
environmental justice- The fair treatment of people of all races, cultures, incomes and educational levels with respect to the development and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies
environmental racism- the disproportionate impact of environmental hazards on people of color
Copper Stain by Elaine M. Hampton and Cynthia C. Ontiveros
Copper Stain by
Call Number: 363.73 HAM
Publication Date: 2019-01-10
Copper Stain is a history of environmental injustice, corporate malfeasance, political treachery, and a community fighting for its life. The book gives voice to nearly one hundred Mexican Americans directly affected by these events. Their frank and often heartrending stories, published here for the first time, evoke the grim reality of laboring under giant machines and lava-spewing furnaces while turning mountains of rock into copper ingots, all in service to an employer largely indifferent to workers’ welfare. With horror and humor, anger, courage, and sorrow, the authors and their interviewees reveal how ASARCO subjected its employees and an unsuspecting public to pollution, diseases, and early death—with little in the way of compensation.
Additional Books on the Topic
Call Number: 976.4 PER
Publication Date: 2010-09-13
Traces the history of Smeltertown, Texas, a city located on the banks of the Rio Grande that was home to generations of ethnic Mexicans who worked at the American Smelting and Refining Company in El Paso, Texas, with information from newspapers, personal archives, photographs, employee records, parish newsletters, and interviews.
A People's History of Environmentalism in the United States by
Call Number: 333.72 MON
Publication Date: 2011-12-08
An account of the history of environmentalism in the United States, challenging the dominant narrative in the field.