A publication of Work On Waste USA, Inc., 82 Judson, Canton,
NY 13617 315-379-9200 July 1992
National Grassroots Action to
Spread the word. Unite for environmental justice.
Stop the WTI hazardous waste incinerator
in East Liverpool, Ohio
Message from Greenpeace: For twelve years citizens from
Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania have been battling Waste
Technologies Industries (WTI) proposal to operate
the largest hazardous waste incinerator in the world. The incinerator
sits on the banks of the Ohio River, in a floodplain, just 300
feet from a residential neighborhood and just 1100 feet from an
elementary school. This is a valley where air inversions occur
2 out of every 3 days and stagnation can trap toxic pollution
near the Ohio River, the homes and the school. The U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency has granted WTI a permit to
legally spew over 4 and a half tons of lead and over one ton of
mercury per year into this valley. But citizens of this community
are still fighting valiantly. Ten different citizens groups,
involving several thousand people throughout the Ohio River Valley
are desperately working to stop WTI.
A HUNGER STRIKE WITH 26 PARTICIPANTS
IS ENTERING ITS THIRD WEEK!
To demonstrate their commitment to stopping WTI, 14 citizens
began a hunger strike on July 20th, after EPA officials refused
to address their concerns during a scheduled meeting and instead
had citizens arrested in the EPA building in Washington, DC.
That hunger strike has now grown to 26 citizens who have vowed
not to eat until WTIs permits are revoked.
JOIN THE PHONE-IN AND FAX-IN ON
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
August 5-6-7-or until you can get through to:
(Phone lines will be likely be busy, so please keep trying.
If it is too difficult, please write.)
William Reilly, Director, U.S. EPA Phone 202-260-4700 Fax
401 M St, SW, Rm. 1200, West Tower, Wash., DC 20460
Valdus Adamkus, Administrator, EPA Region 5 Phone 312-353-2000
77 West Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60604-3590
President George Bush Phone 202-456-1414,
WASTE NOT Editorial: EPA Obscuring the Obvious.
The White House, Washington, DC 20500
Currently the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is using a
consulting firm to conduct a 2-phase health risk assessment of
WTIs fully built commercial hazardous waste incinerator.
The EPA claims that this is not required by law but that they
are doing it to placate the publics fears. However, citizens
see this for what it is: a shallow public relations exercise,
not a genuine attempt to assess the dangers of the project. If
the EPA was truly interested in assessing those dangers it would
have hired an actuary to have calculated the probability of there
being an accident (leak, spill, fire, explosion, etc.) sometime
in the next 20 years for an operation that expects to run 24 hours
a day, 360 days a year. This calculation should be based on the
track record of the hazardous waste incinerator industry in this
country and abroad, including WTIs sister plant in Biebesheim,
Germany. Were such a calculation to be made it is almost a foregone
conclusion that a serious accident will occur at this facility
and when it does that the results will potentially be catastrophic,
especially if it coincides with a period of air stagnation. Any
mechanical, electrical, electronic or human failure could spell
disaster for East Liverpool. There is is no fail safe. By way
of example, when this plant was being built a natural gas line
was ruptured and immediately the children in the elementary school
on the little hill above the facility became nauseous and had
to be evacuated. And this was natural gas! What if it had been
a release of hydrogen cyanide or phosgene gas or some other highly
toxic gas released from an accident. For the U.S. EPA to undertake
superficial health risk assessments with all their known limitations
and inadequacies is simply an attempt to obscure the obvious.
This incinerator should never be allowed to operate at this site.
The residents of the 3 states that will be affected by the air
emissions of WTIs incinerator (PA, WV, OH) continue to fight
EPAs attempt to allow the incinerator to start-up. In their
extraordinary efforts to stop WTI they have revealed that the
US EPA, up to July 23, 1992, did not even know who owned WTI
and who held the liability for WTI -one of the worlds
largest hazardous waste incinerators. A few hundred pages of
information on WTIs ownership were released to the
general public on July 24th, the same day that this fully built
incinerator was scheduled for shake down. We urge our
readers to phone, fax or write the Director of the U.S. EPA Reilly;
Valdus Adamkus (who as administrator of EPA Region 5, illegally
issued WTIs permit in 1983) and George Bush (whose 1989
inaugural party was hosted by Jackson Stephens, the Arkansas billionaire
investor who started the WTI project in 1980. -See New
York Times, 5-8-92, 2 Admit E.P.A. Violated Hazardous
Waste Law in Issuing Permit.)
Von Roll, a Swiss-based engineering firm, is the owner of
hazardous waste incinerator in East Liverpool, Ohio.
*** Von Roll is under federal indictment in Germany
for illegally supplying Iraq with war material. According
to a 3-20-91 report in the Neue Zuercher Zeitung,
a newspaper in Bern, Switzerland, Von Roll is accused of actively
supplying Iraq with materials to construct Saddam Husseins
so-called Supergun before armed conflict in the Gulf
began. The newspaper reported that two Von Roll
shipments were seized in Germany during May of 1990 by the Swiss
Police and Justice Department. Von Roll had declared and
labelled these shipments as components for stamping and forging
presses. After investigation of the shipments, however, German
armaments experts and the Swiss authorities agreed that these
boxes, bound for Iraq, contained war materials. The Swiss Police
and Justice Department apparently believed these components to
be those needed to construct the rumored Iraqi Supergun.
The Swiss also revealed that Von Roll had already exported
18 shipments to Iraq with similar material, at a value of more
than 5 million francs, between February and April, 1990. (from
a 4-25-91 press release from Greenpeace, Chicago).
*** Von Roll owns 62% of New Jersey Steel Corp. (NJSC) in
Sayreville, New Jersey, whose reported environmental violations
are overwhelming. NJSC operates a mini-steel mill,
which is a waste recycling plant (recycling junked autos, machines,
R.R. cars, etc). NJSC has been cited for causing
forty air pollution violations and has been assessed penalties
totalling approximately $250,000 since beginning its operations
in 1973. On November 6, 1986, Robert Pasquarelli, President of
[NYSC] signed an administrative consent order in which
the company agreed to take various actions to upgrade its pollution
control system and to pay fines of $54,900. This order is based
on violations for operating the facility without all components
of the pollution control system attached or functioning properly,
excessive fugitive emissions from the facility in excess of 20%
opacity, and failing to file the required pollution control reports.
On July 9, 1989, an inspection disclosed that [NJSC] was
not complying with the previously signed consent order. Between
January 1988 and June 1989, [NJSC] has been cited by New
Jersey DEP for causing eighteen air pollution violations.
-9-30-89 letter from Dante Mattioni of Mattioni, Matttioni &
Mattioni, Ltd of Philadelphia, Pa. to Pennsylvania Governor Robert
Casey. A newspaper report in the Standard-Speaker
(Hazelton, PA), 6-20-92: The U.S. Nuclear
Regulatory Commission has cited the New Jersey Steel Corp. for
five violations found during a routine inspection of the Sayreville,
N.J. plant in March...[the plant] uses cesium 137 inside gauges
that measure the height of molten steel...The NRCs notice
of violation was dated April 19 1992. According to a 11-3-89
report from Mattioni: Von Roll Ltd. owns
all of the stock of Monteforno, S.A., an Italian corporation.
Monteforno, S.A. was the original owner of the NYSC at
Sayreville, NJ. Von Roll Ltd. originally owned
all of the shares of stock of [NYSC]. It appears that
[NYSC] acquired the Sayreville plant from Monteforno, S.A.
in 1978-79 era. This represented a shift from one Von Roll
Ltd. subsidiary to another Von Roll Ltd. subsidiary.
In May 1987 the [NYSC] sold 1,000,000 shares of stock
in a public offering. At the conclusion of the offering, Von
Roll Ltd. retained ownership of 62% of the stock...
Von Rolls New Jersey Steel is proposing to build
a similar mini-steel mill in Hazle Township in Pennsylvania. (Whitehall
Township in PA had rejected New Jersey Steel because of its environmental
history.) Residents in Hazel Township have also been opposing
the proposal based on the serious environmental violations that
New Jersey Steel has racked up in Sayreville. There will be a
public hearing on the permit to build the mini-steel mill in Hazel
Township on Monday, August 10. For more information contact
Sue Fracke at 717-384-4877.
WHAT ELSE DOES VON ROLL OWN IN THE U.S.A.???
WASTE NOT # 200. 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.