A publication of Work On Waste USA, Inc., 82 Judson, Canton, NY 13617 315-379-9200 October 1992
Start-Up Date: November 1988
Permit violations: June 1989 to May 1991
Owner & Operator: Ogden Martin Systems of Indianapolis
Pollution Controls: Dry Scrubbers, Baghouse
Boiler Manufacturer: Riley Stoker
Builder: J.A. Jones Construction Company
Air Pollution Controls: Environmental Elements Corporation
EPA counted a total of 6,000 violations of Ogden Martins incinerator permit limits during a 2 year period from 1989 to 1991 at Ogdens incinerator in Indianapolis. Among the violations: Ogden Martin bypassed their pollution controls - scrubbers and baghouse - 18 to 20 times. Ogdens incinerator had 27 boiler tube failures within one year. According to an interview with Jeff Stant, the Executive Director of the Hoosier Environmental Council (HEC), the US EPA, the State of Indiana, the City of Indianapolis and HEC, are all currently involved in an official capacity in an enforcement action which is aimed at Ogden Martins poorly operated Indianapolis incinerator. Each of the parties involved in the enforcement entered into the action at different times over the last year, and all allege different numbers of violations. The City of Indianapolis initially brought the action in mid-October 1991 to act as a shield to keep citizens groups from bringing more far-reaching actions. The Indianapolis-based HEC objected in court to the consent decree proposed between the city and Ogden Martin, a decree which conceded that Ogden failed the states tests for particulate emissions from 2 of the 3 incinerator units. The city wanted to settle with a $25,000 fine against Ogden Martin with Ogden agreeing to general and vague conditions of remediation. HEC asserted that this proposed consent decree grossly under-represented many other violations by Ogden Martin. The City countered that Ogden Martin met the criteria of an Indianapolis city rule that states if an exceedance meets 5 separate criteria, serious or not, the violations can be waived. HEC strenuously disagreed with the City and asserted that Ogden Martin had violated the Citys criteria rule, which states: (1) a demonstration that efforts were taken to correct the situation as expeditiously as possible; (2) efforts to minimize the effect of the exceedances; (3) the exceedances collectively dont take up 5% of the time of the operating facility; (4) the exceedances were not due to the negligence of the operator; (5) meet the reporting requirements of the regulation, which include, (a) reporting exceedance within 4 daytime hours of the beginning of the occurrence; (b) provide a written and detailed report which describes exceedances within 5 business days of the beginning of the occurrence. The City rule states that the facility operator has to make a demonstration that they met these 5 criteria. HEC demonstrated that Ogden Martin didnt fulfill any of these criteria, that Ogden never made any such demonstrations in the two years of permit violations, and that there was nothing in the Citys files from Ogden to substantiate any effort to comply to this rule. HEC discovered that according to Ogden Martins own monthly reports, submitted in a two year period (June 1989 to May 1991), that they had 238 exceedances of its air emission permit limits. HEC argued that the city, caught in the dual role as champions of Ogden Martins incinerator and enforcer of the incinerator regulations, grossly underestimated the violations. The citys line was that the incinerator was cleaning up the citys air. At this time Ogden Martin and the City of Indianapolis were trying to get the judge to sign the first consent decree. But after hearing HECs concerns, especially the facts that Ogden Martin did not comply with the Citys own rule, the judge allowed HEC to be an intervener in the enforcement action against Ogden Martin in November 1991. At the same time the judge put the Citys consent decree on hold. Soon after, the judge allowed the State to become a party to the enforcement action, after the State claimed that there were 68 permit exceedances (initially the State claimed 43 exceedances). The State also demanded that Ogden Martin do much more preventive maintenance at the incinerator (Odgen had done none). The EPA got involved in the enforcement action when it issued a notice of violation in federal court in June 1992 by citing 6,000 violations of Ogden Martins incinerator permit. The size of the fine to be leveled at Ogden Martin is being worked out behind closed doors between the city, state, EPA, HEC and Ogden Martin. The meetings are being held at the law offices of Ogden Martins attorneys (Baker and Daniels). Baker & Daniels are a high-powered law firm in Indiana. Ogden Martin barred two of HECs technical experts from touring the Indianapolis incinerator and Ogden would not allow HEC to bring their experts to the technical conferences that addressed the exceedances, while Ogden Martin was allowed to bring in their own engineer. (There were confrontations with Ogden both times HEC tried to have their consulting engineer, Will Baca from CA, tour the plant and attend a technical meeting.] At this time, the size of Ogden Martins fine has not yet been announced. The fine is at the heart of this enforcement action. It is expected soon. Citizens are concerned that Ogden Martin is working for a consent decree that will have the least impact on their public relations nationwide. Despite what appears to be a clear case of flagrant abuse of their permit, citizens fear that federal and state officials will buckle under to Ogden Martin pressure. We will keep you posted. FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeff Stant or Charlene Griffin at the Hoosier Environmental Council, 1002 E. Washington, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202. Tel: 317-685-8800. Fax: 317-686-4794.
Incinerator owner: Lee County . (Population approx 350,000)
Operator: Ogden Martin Systems of Lee, Inc.
Tons per day: 1,200. (Originally 1,800).
Cost: $250 million. (Have already bonded $202 million.)
Pollution Controls: Carbon Injection, Baghouse, Dry Scrubbers, de-NOX, Consultants for County: Camp Dresser McKee (Fired for bad advice. See below.)
Bonds: SMITH BARNEY
Counsel for Bonds: WINSTON STRAWN
Residents say Ogden Martin had been in their county for two years before they learned of the incinerator proposal. The public found out about Ogden Martins proposal to build an 1,800 tpd incinerator in August 1990 just before the County was about to sign a contract with Ogden. The residents lost no time in coming up to speed. They campaigned hard to get two anti-incinerator County Commissioners elected in the November 1990 election. The citizens thought they won! After the 1990 election the County Commissioners were 3 to 2 against the incinerator. Thats when Ogden Martin went into overdrive. Ogden Martin initiated a grass-roots campaign to sell their message. They took out full page ads, they initiated a telephone campaign to tell people about the countys impending landfill crisis, and how, if the incinerator wasnt built, economic catastrophe would befall Lee County taxpayers. In January 1991 Ogden Martin threatened lawsuits for a breach of contract when the County Commissioners were ready to dump the incinerator. By the middle of January 1991, the County Commissioners changed their mind and voted 4-1 for a downsized 1,200 tpd incinerator. Since January 1991 the citizens have done everything possible to stop the proposal. Events catapulted. In April 1991, the county invested $50,000 in a 2-day symposium of independent experts to discuss the incinerator. The experts included some the incinerator industrys best friends and advocates, such as Paul Chrostowski, J.Winston Porter, R.W. Beck & Assoc. The star of the symposium was Dr. Vernon Houk, the man accused by a U.S. Congressional Committee of botching the Center for Disease Controls Agent Orange study. Houk told everyone that they had nothing to fear from dioxin or mercury [see Waste Not 61 & 150.] In September of 1991 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service invoked Section 7, stating that any amount of mercury emissions in the state of Florida would be especially detrimental to the Everglades panther and bald eagle, and to other endangered species. In July 1992, Ogden Martin, EPA and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife secretly met in Atlanta, Georgia. The result of the meeting was that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife changed their minds on the mercury issue. Two federal agencies attended these meetings, and according to Nancy Gross there were no minutes taken to inform the residents what happened. What they did find out was that a report was given to Lee County which stated that Ogden Martin met the requirements to build the incinerator. Ogden Martin has donated money to many groups in Lee County and to the local Nature Center. Ogden Martins lead men in Lee County are Scott Treschler and Scott Mackin. They see a lot of Jeffrey Hahn. Fort Myers is less than 10 miles from the Everglades. Camp, Dresser Mc Kee (CDM) were the Countys consultants. They were fired because of the bad advice they gave the county on the siting of the ash landfill. CDM were apparently paid enormous sums of money for advising Lee County to site a landfill in an area that was 7,000 feet away from an airport. The FAAs rules are that no landfill can be sited within 10,000 feet of an airport. On April 6, 1992, to protest the permitting of the Ogdens incinerator in Lee County, and to protest the outrageous mercury-contamination resulting from Floridas massive incinerators, eleven people (known as the Everglades 11), were arrested for handcuffing themselves to the gates of Wheelabrators Broward South incinerator for five hours. [The Everglades 11, all grass-roots activists are: Catherine Black, Bob Brounley, Catherine Dee,Nancy Gross, Eric Hiller, Brian Hunt, Charles Ness, Ronald Palamara, Laurie Shiver, Terry Walker and Mary Woodhouse.] They were arrested for trespassing and went before a Broward County Judge in June 1992. The judge sealed their records and gave them 9 hours of community service, to serve the environment! FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Nancy Gross at 813-947-2541; Bobbi Heinrich at 813-728-3049; Ken Case at 813-997-4737.