A publication of Work On Waste USA, Inc., 82 Judson, Canton, NY 13617 315-379-9200 September 20, 1990


In 1987 Clean Harbors Co. proposed to build a $42 million hazardous waste rotary kiln incinerator, to burn 45,000 tons per year, in East Braintree. The waste would have come from the Northeast and be located next to a Clean Harbors hazardous-waste transfer station and a Clean Harbors medical waste incinerator in Braintree. The 11-acre Clean Harbors site was originally bought from SCA, a subsidiary of Waste Management Inc.’s Chemical Waste. Chemical Waste has first right of refusal on the sale of any Clean Harbors stock. There was never any discussion about the siting for the incinerator ash. Clean Harbors estimates it spent $16 million on this proposal. HMM Associates of Concord, MA, were the major consultants for Clean Harbors on this project. HMM subcontracted with Battelle Labs. of Ohio on short-term health risks. Clean Harbors contracted with ESE Inc., Amherst, MA, for the long-term health risks. HMM Associates is owned by Summit Environmental from Canton, Ohio. (Summit Environmental was formed in July 1988. The president and CEO of Summit is Theodore Savastano. Summit has another subsidiary called WW Engineering & Science in Grand Rapids, MI. WW Engineering has two branch offices in Bloomington, IN and Columbus, OH). The big break came on September 14, 1990, when MA. Human Services Secretary, Philip Johnston, issued a report recommending the incinerator be rejected. Then on September 19 the Commissioner for the Department of Environmental Protection, Daniel Greenbaum, rejected Clean Harbors permit to build. On September 20 Clean Harbors “told investors it expects to write off as a loss its investment in the incinerator” because “there is nothing Clean Harbors can do to make its proposed East Braintree site acceptable to the state...Clean Harbors expects to take the $16 million loss during this quarter, which ends Nov. 30...” According to State Senator Paul Harold from Quincy, “This is like the end of the 100 Years War’...he said local activists deserve credit for keeping pressure on regulators through the long fight.” The Patriot Ledger, 9-21-90. For more information contact: Suzanne Anderson, Coalition for a Safe Environment, 88 Fearing Road, Hingham, MA 02043, Tel: 617-749-0624.

Health reasons cited by Philip Johnston, MA Human Services Secretary,
in a report for permit rejection:

For a copy of Johnston’s report on Braintree call 617-727-7170. As the cost for the report has not yet been estimated, and payment has to be made in advance, you can also request a copy by writing to: Robert Knorr, Dept. of Pub. Health, Div. of Environ. Health Assessment, 7th Floor, 153 Tremont St., Boston, MA 02111

• “The lung cancer rate in Quincy’s Germantown was 55 percent above normal from 1982 to 1986, while over the same period, men in North Weymouth got lung cancer 72 percent more than normal. These two neighborhoods are downwind of the incinerator site two days out of three.

• “In a portion of North Weymouth, men have an elevated incidence of cancer of the pancreas. In addition, bronchitis, emphysema and asthma rates were higher than the state average in Braintree and Weymouth.

• “Of the 15,000 people who live within a mile of the incinerator site, 18 percent are over 65 years old, compared with the statewide average of 13 percent.

• “Johnston was skeptical of Clean Harbor’s claim that the incinerator posed virtually no health threat, saying that conclusion should be approached with ‘caution.’...In addition, given the number [of] industrial pollution sources in the Fore River Basin, Clean Harbors should have focused more on the effect of exposure to multiple chemicals.

• “The report also said that the area around the incinerator is vulnerable to a serious accident because the nearest home is within 300 yards. Within a mile of the incinerator are two schools, three health care facilities and four elderly housing projects...” The Patriot Ledger, page 10, Sept. 15/16, 1990.

Reasons for permit denial from the MA Department of Environmental Protection:

“..Daniel S. Greenbaum, commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection, found that the surrounding area was too densely populated, that the incinerator was too close to residential neighborhoods and that there were too many sensitive persons in schools, nursing homes and medical facilities who would be affected by any accident at the incinerator. ‘Should a major accident occur, the health and safety of the public would be put at significant risk,’ Greenbaum said...There is federal legislation that would deny federal aid for hazardous waste cleanup to states that do not arrive at such solutions, either in their own territory or in regional compacts with other states. Another company, Recontek, has proposed a metals recovery facility that has won initial support from selectmen in the town of Orange, officials said, and that facility may meet some or all of the state’s federal obligations.” The Boston Globe, 9-20-90.

Some background on CLEAN HARBORS:

The medical waste incinerator in Braintree, MA, “the only one Clean Harbors has ever run- was shut down [temporarily] in 1987 after the state learned that it was burning material at too low a temperature, risking the release of harmful fumes. The company’s oil-recovery plant, in Kingston, Massachusetts, temporarily lost its licence in 1987 for what the Department of Environment Quality Engineering has characterized as serious violations of state regulations. And Clean Harbors has been cited for a number of hazardous-waste spills along highways over the past several years...Among the more notable hires Clean Harbors has made over the years are the following: William Geary, brought aboard as the company’s director of communications this April (1989), was head of the Metropolitan District Commission for the previous six years. A Dukakis adviser and confidant for years, Geary also served as deputy secretary of state. Deborah Sanderson, hired as V.P. of the incinerator project in January 1988, served as assistant secretary for policy in the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, a post she left in 1984. Sanderson helped write the regulations that created the Hazardous Waste Facility Site Safety Council (SSC), the 23-member body of state officials and citizens appointed by Gov. Dukakis...Frank Wright is now on retainer as Clean Harbors legal counsel. Wright was previously legal counsel to the SSC. William St. Hillaire, hired in 1986 as V.P. of engineering, previously served as a regional engineer at DEQE. Anita Flanagan worked as a P.R. officer for Clean Harbors from August 1986 to February 1988. Prior to that, she ran a statewide public-participation program for hazardous-waste disposal for the state’s Department of Environmental Management. Ken Tarbel, hired (in 1988) as an engineer, worked for DEQE off and on between 1954 and 1980. From 19870 to 1988, Tarbel worked for a municipal landfill, but he would not say in which town. Michael Goldman worked as a consultant to Clean Harbors for a year starting in the summer of 1987. Goldman, often described as a ubiquitous political consultant, is now working for three Democratic candidates for state office...Ned Wynot, hired in June 1988 to be the company’s transportation chief, is a member of the Braintree Water Commission and a former Braintree selectman. Clean Harbors bought Wynot’s gas station three months after he was hired and transformed it into a company truck-repair facility. Judy Barber, hired (in 1988) as a community-relations officer at the Braintree incinerator site, was a Bedford selectman from 1980 until the spring of 1989. Last Fall (1988) Clean Harbors won approval from the Bedford Board of Health to open an analytical services office in Bedford. Michael Zooleck, hired in 1987 to run an information office in Braintree and since promoted to the position of sales representative...is the son of Ron Zooleck, executive V.P. of the South Shore Chamber of Commerce. Robert Spielvogel, hired in 1986 as Clean Harbors’ health and safety manager, worked for the federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration from 1983 to 1986...” The Boston Phoenix, 9-15-89, Section One, page 8. For a full copy of this article, please send a SASE to Waste Not..


On August 16, 1990, a fire “aboard a trailer carrying varied types of hazardous waste” at Ensco’s hazardous waste incinerator site necessitated the evacuation of “about 50 people” after midnight on August 17. “An Ensco employee was sent to Medical Center of South Arkansas for observation, but no injuries were reported...Because Ensco has its own fire brigade trained for emergency response, the plant is not required to contact the local fire department when fires break out. The brigade uses it own discretion in doing so...The El Dorado Fire Department was called to the scene about 11 p.m. Thursday...Heavy smoke reportedly hovered over downtown El Dorado....Residents included in the evacuation of houses along Cargile Avenue and North Park Boulevard camped out in the lobby of Warner Brown Hospital until after 2 p.m. Laura Moore of 513 Cargile Ave. said the odor from the fire was not strong. ‘I usually smell something like that all the time,’ Ms. Moore said. ‘Sometimes it’s worse. But I never had to leave my house before...” El Dorado News-Times, 8-18-90, front page. For more information contact: Mardell Smith, 1201 N. Newton, El Dorado, AR 71730, Tel: 501-862-52293.

WASTE NOT # 117 A publication of Work on Waste USA, published 48 times a year, annual rates are: Individual and Non-Profits $35; Student & 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.