A publication of Work On Waste USA, Inc., 82 Judson, Canton, NY 13617 315-379-9200 May 31, 1990


REPORT OF INVESTIGATION ON MAY 7th POLICE ATTACK HAILED A WHITEWASH BY BOTH PRESS AND ENVIRONMENTALISTS. Arizona Governor Rose Mofford agreed with the conclusions of the report from the state’s Department of Public Safety investigation on the police attack on residents in Mobile (see Waste Not #101). On May 7, police attacked and arrested participants at the public hearing on the proposal to build three hazardous waste incinerators and seven hazardous waste landfills in Mobile. According to Bradley Angel of Greenpeace, the report concluded that the outrage that occurred in Mobile was not an outrage, but was a situation that was handled responsibly and professionally by both the Maricopa County Sherriff’s Department and the Department of Environmental Quality. The report was released late afternoon, the Friday before Memorial Day. The investigators did not interview any of the hundreds of witnesses that attended the May 7 public hearing. The report’s conclusions were blasted by both the press and environmental groups as a whitewash, with a united call for an independent investigation.

Cartoon from The Phoenix Gazette, 5-10-90.

Stun Gun from The Arizona Republic, 5-10-90.

AN ARREST STORY: “Phillip Pepe, a biology professor at Phoenix College, said he brought his wife and two students to the meeting so they could watch democracy in action. Instead, he said he received a lesson in disillusionment. ‘I wasn’t allowed to enter the school building and had to watch the whole hearing through a window,’ Pepe said. ‘I saw people being arrested who were not disrupting the meeting. The police were disrupting the meeting.’ Pepe said that when he attempted to enter the building, he was threatened by an officer holding a dog on a leash, thrown to the ground by four deputies, shocked [with stun gun], and charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.” The Phoenix Gazette, 5-9-90.

MORE ON ENSCO’S PROPOSAL: “ENSCO has invested about $30 million in the $50 million project and to pull the plug now could expose the state to costly lawsuits.” Tuscan Citizen, 5-8-90. “ENSCO is paying for construction of the facility...while the state has spent about $5 million to buy 640 acres of land from the federal government and improve highways in the area...ENSCO is responsible for the site for the 30 years the facility would operate and for 30 years after the plant is closed.” The Phoenix Gazette, 5-16-90.

“The plant would take up 83 acres of the 640-acre site. State officials say that the facility could be expanded but that a new series of permits would be required.” The Arizona Republic, 5-6-90, front page. “The portable system ENSCO plans to build in Mobile was one of the first commercial modular incinerators that can be transported by railroad or via trailer truck for use at Superfund cleanup sites. ENSCO has used the system at a contaminated military installation in Gulfport, Miss; to treat liquids, solids and soil contaminated with solvents at the Lenz Oil Refinery in Lemont, ILL; and to clean open pits containing oil sludge at a hazardous waste dump near Tampa, Fl.” The Phoenix Gazette, 5-5-90, page A-2. “ENSCO has applied for three permits to open the plant - one to allow it to install three incinerators; one to destroy cancer-causing polychlorinated biphenyls; and the third to allow the company to begin building a lined landfill...” Mesa Tribune, 5-7-90, front page. “ENSCO’s agreement with the state allows it to ship to the site up to 30,000 tons a year of incinerator ash from its hazardous-waste plant in El Dorado, Ark...Arizona officials say that waste must be imported from other states to make the facility profitable for ENSCO, which is building and will operate the plant...Arizona is a partner in the plant...The state will receive $150,000 a year as a lease payment for the 640-acre site, as well as 2 percent of the profits.” The Tempe Daily News Tribune, 12-5-89.


A video update on incineration

VideoActive Productions latest video, #17, is just off the production line. Filmed in April, it looks at several counties in Florida which are suffering the economic and environmental consequences of Florida’s rush to become the number one mass burn state. Several states make this dubious claim: Minnesota has more incinerators per capita than any other state; Massachusetts burns a higher percentage of its trash than any other state; but it is Florida that burns more tons of trash than any other state. Both the Governor of Florida, Bob Martinez, and his Secretary of the Dept. of Environmental Regulation, Dale Twachtmann, are pro-burn. In fact, when Governor Martinez was Mayor of Tampa and his friend Dale Twachtmann was a consultant with Camp Dresser & McKee, they helped to push through the incinerator for that city. In the video, Paul Connett interviews a number of angry officials and residents. In Lake County he interviews County Commissioner Richard Schwartz, and Dan Eastwood, a former banker, who explain the outrageous contract that Ogden Martin “negotiated” with the county. Ogden Martin bought up the company that got the permit (without any bidding) to build and also got the tax credits as well. There are l,400 named lakes in Lake county. In Pinellas County, Paul interviews Mel Perez, a senior citizen who is organizing other seniors in Pinellas Park who oppose plans to expand the Wheelabrator incinerator from 3,000 tpd to 6,000 tpd. In its 8 years of operation this Wheelabrator incinerator has produced over one and a half million tons of ash that has been “landfilled” adjacent to the plant with little protection for the environment. Seniors have experienced many respiratory problems and so far, Mel has collected nearly 3,000 signatures on his petition to stop the expansion. In Pasco County, residents explain the awful siting of another Ogden Martin facility over a main source aquifer --a site selection approved by Camp Dresser & McKee-- and how the residents have been assessed a garbage tax to pay off the bonds. In the Everglades, Paul interviews Greenpeace organizer, Brian Hunt, who explains the mercury build up in the fish there. This tape is designed, like Waste Not, to give ammunition to citizens groups to combat the slick pro-incinerator salesmen and consultants who descend on their towns with platitudes and promises. Incinerator issues from Hillsborough, Broward, and Hill Counties are examined also. This video is an excellent introduction to the issues, pollution, and front-line battles of incineration that has descended upon the fragile ecology of Florida. WOW video #17, “Florida Burning,” is available for $25 from VideoActive Productions, Route 2, Box 322, Canton, NY 13617. Tel: 315-386-8797.

WASTE NOT #105 A publication of Work on Waste USA, published 48 times a year, annual rates are: Individual & Non-Profits $35; Students & Seniors $25; Consultants & For-Profits $100; Canadian Subscriptions $US40. Editors: Ellen & Paul Connett, 82 Judson Street, Canton, NY 13617. Tel: 315-379-9200. Fax: 315-379-0448.