A publication of Work On Waste USA, Inc., 82 Judson, Canton, NY 13617 315-379-9200 January 1992
Note from Waste Not: Apologies for the long delay in publishing the newsletter. We are late due to a month long super-effort of filing the tremendous number of reports and papers we have received from our readers over the last year. Waste Not plans to report on the status of medical waste incinerator proposals - please send us (via fax/phone/post) updates on the status of medical waste proposals in your area.
Diamond Shamrock settled out-of-court before they presented their experts. Depositions were taken by Gordon from those who were to testify on Diamond Shamrocks behalf, which included: Dr. Robert Waldman, Dean of the Univ. of Nebraska Medical School; Phillip Guzelian, toxicologist, MD; Raymond Harbison, Professor of toxicology/epidemiology at U. of Florida (Gainesville); Dr Herbert Schaumberg; Dr. Armond Yanders from Missouri; and T.W. Frazier Russell, a chemical engineer. Rutgers University Press will be publishing a book this Spring that includes a chapter co-authored by Michael Gordon and Ellen Silbergeld titled: Occupational exposure from dioxin: a case study, Diamond Shamrock, Newark. Waste Not will inform its readers of the details when the book is published. Several years ago Ironbound Voices published a series of reports on Diamond Shamrock and the problems the workers suffered. They are available for $10 from Arnold Cohen at the Ironbound Committee, 95 Fleming Ave, Newark NJ 07105 (tel: 201-589-4668).
The Newark Star Ledger report of the dioxin settlement, 1-25-92. A seven-year legal battle to hold the Diamond Shamrock Corp. responsible for illnesses resulting from dioxin contamination generated by the manufacturer of Agent Orange at its Newark plant ended abruptly yesterday with a $1 million out-of-court settlement. The chemical company agreed to the settlement without admitting liability in the seventh week of trial in a suit filed on behalf of 72 former workers, their families, neighbors and surrounding businesses in Newarks Ironbound section, where the plant operated at 80 Lister St. from 1951 to 1969...The surprise agreement was for only a fraction of the millions in compensatory and punitive damages sought by the plaintiffs. The highest individual payment will be $50,000 to the widow of a former Diamond Shamrock worker whose death, her attorneys said, was directly related to dioxin poisoning...Diamond Shamrock produced several chemicals including DDT, a pesticide, and Agent Orange, a herbicide used as a defoliant during the Vietnam War...In 1983, Gov. Thomas Kean declared a state of emergency after record levels of dioxin were found at the site. The site appears on the federal superfund list and was targeted for a $16 million cleanup. The latest status reports show that 79,000 cubic yards of contaminated materials from the site and surrounding community have been collected. But they remain on site, stacked in more than 850 containers, because there is no place to dispose of the waste. Officials plan to bury the containers on the property. Initially, there were 102 plaintiffs in the suit, including several workers who suffered significant - even mortal - health problems. Their case hit a major setback when Yanoff ruled that most of the employees could not sue because they had already pursued workmans compensation claims. His ruling was upheld by an appellate court...The case was settled before Diamond Shamrock attorneys (of the law firm McCarter & English) presented any proof of their arguments...[Diamond Shamrocks lawyer] John Flaherty, argued in his opening statement that the plaintiffs health problems were exaggerated and that the company had acted responsibly. The case was settled before Diamond Shamrock attorneys presented any proof of their arguments... (See also the New York Times report on the settlement, 1-25-92, page 29.)
Diamond Shamrock is no longer in existence. Occidental Petroleum Corp. acquired the chemical subsidiary of Diamond Shamrock in 1986 for $850 million. Occidental is responsible for Diamond Shamrocks chemical subsidiary liabilities. Also in 1986 Diamond Shamrock spun off its oil/gas business into two brand new companies: MAXUS ENERGY CORP. - oil and gas exploration and production (the Rainforest Action Group is fighting Maxus plans to drill for oil in Ecuador), and Diamond Shamrock R & M: oil & gas consumer marketing. Kerr McGee Corp. purchased the Canadian unit of Maxus Energy Corp. in 1989 -see Wall Street Journal, 6-30-89, page C-21.
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NOW AVAILABLE FREE: Report on the pilot intensive recycling
program in East Hampton, Long Island, NY, that showed that 84.4%
of municipal solid waste is recyclable. This pilot program
designed and implemented by the Center for the Biology of Natural
Systems and published in the report titled: Development
and Pilot Test of an Intensive Municipal Solid Waste Recycling
for the Town of East Hampton is now available free of charge
for any person making an individual request to the New York State
Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) in Albany,
NY. Telephone NYSERDA at 518-465-6251, ext. 272 and ask
for report #90-6. People should be sure to ask for both
volumes. Volume 1 is the main report and Volume 2 contains the
appendices (important because they reveal the methodology). NYSERDA
was the original funding agency for this experiment which Waste
Not #32 reported on. It was this highly successful 10-week,
100 volunteer family study in Intensive Recycling in 1988 that
ignited interest in community recycling. The results of this
pilot program, which used a 4-bin collection system, demonstrated
recovery rates of:
Bin # 1 Food waste and soiled paper 32.9%
Bin # 2 Paper/Cardboard 40.5%
Bin # 3 Metal cans/glass bottles 13.4%
Bin # 4 Non-recyclables 13.2%
Material rejected during compost/recycle process 2.4%
INFORMATION NEEDED ON WOOD FIRED COGENERATING PLANTS. An 18 megawatt wood cogenerating plant is proposed for Chauteaugay, Franklin County, NY. The community is a small, rural farming community (dairy, potatoes, home gardens) and residents are anxious to receive any information it can to help it assess potential adverse impacts. The proposed vendor is KES Inc. (Meridan, CT), a part of Kenetech from California. Please send information to: Jane McDonald, Route 1, Box 375, Chauteaugay, NY 12920. Tel: 518-425-3381. Or telephone Mary Rankin at 518-497-6064.