A publication of Work On Waste USA, Inc., 82 Judson, Canton, NY 13617 315-379-9200 March 21, 1991


a former worker at LWD hazardous waste incinerator in Calvert City, Kentucky.

February 10, 1991: Conscience-stricken Lynn Hill tells Bob Harrell, publisher of Tell It Like It Is, of Murray, KY, that he buried over 5,000 drums of chemicals under the concrete at LWD in Calvert City. According to Harrell: “He feared for his life” if his identity became known.

A few days later: Bob Harrell contacted the Governor’s contact man for the area “in order to check-out the story before printing.”

February 27, 1991: Lynn Hill’s obituary appeared in the Paducah Sun. Bob Harrell’s story had not been published.

February 28, 1991: Bob Harrell wrote the following letter to David Harrington, Calloway County Attorney:
“David, I talked to Mr. Hill (nickname Bear) about two weeks ago. The man who was found dead in a alleged suicide. He said that he had been trying to see me for some time to give me a story that was bothering him very much. It turned out that the story is the one about a former employer, Amos Shelton, the owner and manager of L.W.D. (Liquid Waste Disposal) at Calvert City. He stated that he worked there for quite some time, beginning about ten years ago. He said that he was the dozer operator that actually buried the drums he noted in the story I plan to run...I feel that he was really concerned about this story getting him killed. He asked me to disguise, omit, or anything I could do to keep the people at LWD from finding out who he was. I left out his name, also indicated that he was from out of state, where he was, but I feel strongly that these people were able to figure out who he was anyway. You see, I checked with a real good friend of mine who also is Wallace Wilkinson’s [Governor of Kentucky] man in the region in order to check-out the story before printing and, . . . he confronted the people at LWD I’m sure. I feel that I may have let Mr. Hill down by asking questions that I did regarding the operation at LWD. It’s common knowledge among many in-the-know that contributions, violations, problems and endorsements within the environmental protection cabinet may have a lot to be desired. If I can be any further assistance in any way let me know.” Signed Bob Harrell.

The following are excerpts from Bob Harrell’s report that he gave to Governor Wilkinson’s contact man for the Calvert City area a few days after Lynn Hill met with Harrell: “There’s over 5,000 drums of chemicals buried under the concrete, rather than properly disposed of by LWD...the whole plant is sitting directly on many tons of stuff that should have been destroyed. There’s acetone, muriatic acid, cyanide, trichloethelene, and a very lethal derivative from a shoe dye. Most of it is in (fifty-five gallon drums)...’ Detailed information was requested to be withheld because of chances it might ‘finger the informant,’ regarding these allegations...he said he had no other choice but to sound the alarm, even though he feared for his life. ‘Over 100 drums of glue is in the ground under there too,’ he added...Some of it (chemicals) is right under the guard shack, I saw it put there.”

Waste Not was informed by a reliable source that Lynn Hill, who had left LWD and was working at another firm, did not go to work for three days prior to 2-27-91. Someone went to his house and found his dead body “in a very bloodied condition.” Lynn Hill was found half-way in his truck, with the keys in his hands. His kitchen was splattered with blood. Waste Not was told that Lynn Hill had bruise marks on his abdomen and on his face and that Lynn Hill’s nose was pushed into his brain. The medical examiner has not released an autopsy report. Waste Not was informed that the family was initially told by the coroner that Lynn Hill had died of pneumonia. Another source said the coroner’s report will list Lynn Hill's death from a ruptured esophagus. Rumors are rife, with many saying that it was a “professional job.” Lynn Hill’s funeral was held on March 1st. There has been no public release of the official cause of death because there is an investigation underway. Bob Harrell’s report still has not gone public. According to our source Bob Harrell was told by the Governor’s contact man, before Lynn Hill’s death, “positively not to run the story.” We understand that Harrell will run his report when the coroner’s report is released. According to our source anyone who had contact with Lynn Hill on this story is very frightened. The state has been trying for the last two years to set up a hearing to get witnesses to testify about violations at LWD.

“Lupus - a disease in which the body turns against itself to destroy its own tissues -- affects a greater portion of western Kentucky’s population than any other area of the nation.” Paducah Sun, KY, 8-8-86. Calvert City is in western KY.

LWD’s hazardous waste incinerator has been operating for 10 years with a temporary permit. More than 70% of the waste burned at LWD is from out-of-state. In Sept. 1989 and in late 1990 the State moved to deny LWD their temporary permit and each time LWD had appealed successfully and stalled the permit denials. In the state’s Sept. 1989 permit denial “state officials listed 11 violations of environmental laws that (an official) said surfaced in the recent depositions of approximately 25 current and former LWD employees..” Louisville Courier Journal, 9-26-89, front page. According to a U.S. EPA report titled Final Report Accountability of Hazardous Waste Handled by a Commercial Incinerator, 10-9-87, (EPA Region 5, contract No. 68-01-7331, prepared by PRC Environmental Management Inc.): “Unaccounted for Waste: In 1985, the facility received a total of 66.4 million pounds (converted quantity in pounds) of manifested waste. Of this waste quantity, PRC could account for 76.1 percent (50.54 million pounds), which was incinerated at the facility...Using data in the facility’s 1985 incineration report, PRC evaluated the daily amount of hazardous waste incinerated by the facility. In this evaluation, PRC compared the daily incinerated waste quantity to the permitted feed rate specified in its Kentucky Air Permit 0-81-16. The permitted rate is 200 gallons per hour for unit 1 and 250 gallons per hour for unit 2. Assuming both units operate 24 hours per day, the upper daily limit is 10,800 gallons. The analysis shows that the facility violated the permitted feed rate 203 days during 1985. Approximately half of these violations were between 101 and 200 percent of the permitted rates and the other half were between 201 and 702 percent of the permitted rates. Exceeding the permitted feed rate is not a RCRA violation; however, this rate was established by the Kentucky Division of Air Pollution Control based on the capacity of the incineration units to ensure compliance with the regulatory agency’s air emission limits. The waste sent to the incinerators at the higher feed rates could not have been properly incinerated, leading to incomplete combustion or emission into the air. Since only limited air emission records were available, PRC could not verify incomplete combustion in the incinerators...PRC questions the authenticity and validity of some of the facility’s operating records that we reviewed. One reason for this doubt is the facility’s incineration report for 1985 indicated a total of 113 invalid incineration dates, 10 incineration days dated from before 1985, 5 incineration dates were nonexisting days of the year (for example, February 31 and November 31), and 98 incineration dates were before the waste was received by the facility. Furthermore, the daily inspection sheets reviewed by the PRC included two separate versions for December l through December 31, 1985. It appeared that these reports were written twice, and for December 1,9,12,15,17, and 23, the two versions of the same report provided contradictory information. A third reason to question the validity of the facility’s data is that 6 of 31 state air inspection reports reported incineration operation data that contradicted the facility’s temperature report...”

For more information on LWD see VideoActive’s 60-minute video “Calvert City: One of Kentucky’s Best Kept Secrets”, available for $25 from VideoActive Productions, Rt. 2, Box 322, Canton, NY 13617. Tel: 315-386-8797. It was VideoActive’s work on LWD that was the catalyst for the June 1989 PBS-TV Frontline program, Who’s Killing Calvert City. Also see Waste Not # 72,77,113. Greenpeace published a 50-page report in 1989 on LWD, available from Greenpeace, 1017 W. Jackson Avenue, Chicago, IL 60607. Corrine Whitehead of the Coalition for Health Concern, Rt. 6, Box 25, Benton, KY 42025, has been watchdogging LWD’s activities for years.

WASTE NOT # 143 A publication of Work on Waste USA, published 48 times a year. Annual rates are: Groups & Non-Profits $50; Students & Seniors $35; Individual $40; Consultants & For-Profits $125; Canadian $US45; Overseas $65. Editors: Ellen & Paul Connett, 82 Judson Street, Canton, NY 13617. Tel: 315-379-9200. Fax: 315-379-0448.