While a "Unilateral Administrative Order" sounds powerful, and is in fact a directive, Lifshutz can still refuse the EPA access, which would require the agency to go before a federal judget to get a court order for testing. According to EPA On-Scene Coordinator Eric Delgado, Lifshutz had consented to let the EPA enter the property for sampling, but in return had asked to be held harmless in case any of his former Big Tex tenants develop asbestosis 20 years down the road. There's "no way we can do that," says Delgado; those unacceptable conditions led to the UAO.
Lifshutz did not return a call asking how he plans to respond to the UAO, but his office said a representative will attend Tuesday's meeting. Delgado will also be there, as well as reps from TCEQ and the Texas Department of State Health Services.
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