A publication of Work On Waste USA, Inc., 82 Judson, Canton, NY 13617 315-379-9200 November 1992
The Waste Technologies Industries (WTI) hazardous waste incinerator in East Liverpool, Ohio, is the Armageddon for the movement for Environmental Justice. The incinerator is built on a site that is 1,100 feet from an elementary school and within 400 feet of homes. The incinerator is permitted to emit nearly 10,000 pounds of lead a year. The site, situated in a 100-year flood plain, abuts the Ohio River, which is a source of drinking water for millions. The Ohio River, at this junction, is a border for three states: Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. The site is in a valley and meteorological records documented that air inversions occurred on 69% of the days in 1990. A court ruling last Thursday (11-12-92) denied justice to the residents of the Ohio Valley (see below). The incinerator is poised to begin operations. On 11-16-92, eight grandparents (adorned with photographs of their grandchildren) were arrested for protesting at the incinerator site. On Sunday, November 22, a protest rally will be held at the WTI site in East Liverpool. This rally will be as important to the movement for Environmental Justice as Martin Luther Kings marches were for the civil rights movement.
Time: 2 PM. Place: WTIs site located at 1250 St.
For more information contact: Beth Newman, Greenpeace: 304-387-1007.
East Liverpool is located 38 miles west of Pittsburgh on US Route 30, and 40 miles south of Youngstown, Ohio, via Ohio State Route 11. Motel accommodations in the area: East Liverpool Motor Lodge, 216-386-5858. On the WV side of the river is the Mountaineer Lodge, 304-387-2236, located on State Route 2 which is 3 miles from E. Liverpool. There are several motels in the Youngstown area, especially at the Canfield exit off of State Route 11.
AL GORE knows about the WTI outrage. Residents are convinced that Al Gore can stop WTIs hazardous waste incinerator if he invokes the US EPAs Revocation & Reissuance Procedure.
When you leave your message make sure to tell his office what State, or country, you are calling from.
Editorial: The Rubber-Stamping of Injustice. Every day, children are killed. Every day parents are left with a ragged place in their brain, full of memories of what might have been. Usually we dont see the accident coming. Its only when we are dressed in black, standing around the little coffins, that we wonder if we could have done something. In East Liverpool, Ohio, the coffins are still in the future. The harm to these children can still be prevented. In our wildest nightmares, none of us who have been fighting incinerators ever believed that any government official would be so stupid as to site a huge commercial hazardous waste incinerator 1,100 feet from an elementary school and within 400 feet of homes. But they have and it took a lot of doing. It took over 12 years. It took a lot of money. It took a lot of lies. It took a lot of bending laws and breaking rules. It took a lot of bogus science and scientific prostitutes. It took a lot of friends in high places. And last Thursday, it took one more act of injustice to finally fix the sordid deal. The final coffin nail was driven home by Judge Frederick P. Stamp, of the U.S. District Court in West Virginia, when he ruled against a preliminary injunction to stop WTI from starting up. This was a ruling that rubber-stamped corporate greed over human health and safety. Not only was the judges ruling full of glaring errors of fact, but it played a Catch-22 with logic. The judge, having turned a blind eye to the pathetic incompetence and complicity of the US EPA in this matter, ruled that the facility will be safe, because the US EPA says that it will be! The hearing was held in response to a lawsuit brought by West Virginias Attorney General, Mario J. Palumbo, to permanently stop WTI from operating. The November 12th ruling denied interim relief during the pending lawsuit, which is still going forward. The Judges ruling would allow WTI to start-up the incinerator. According to Judge Stamp, we dont have to worry because the US EPA says the WTI incinerator will be safe. But we know that other similar facilities they have permitted with the same claims of safety, have been a disastrous failure. For example, the Chemical Waste Management incinerator, which they permitted in Chicago, blew up in early 1991, and hasnt operated since. [Bill Muno of US EPA Region V met with incinerator opponents in October 1991. When asked what commercial hazardous waste facility he would cite as a model for a well operated hazardous waste incinerator, Muno cited the Chicago hazardous waste incinerator! In June 1992, this incinerator was slapped with the largest fine that the State of Illinois ever levied: $3 million.] A similar facility the US EPA permitted, ENSCOs hazardous waste incinerator in El Dorado, Arkansas, has poisoned the people who live in the area. The director of US EPA Region VI (Adlene Harrison) who issued the permit for this facility in 1981 declared in 1990: I would probably today, with all the things I see and know, should say those things should be far removed from any urban area. -(Arkansas Democrat, 12-16-90 - see Waste Not #133.) The Ohio State Legislature enacted new siting criteria in August 1984 which prevents the siting of such facilities within 2,000 feet of homes, hospitals and schools. This law didnt apply to WTI because the facility obtained its permit in 1983. Even though WTI didnt start building the incinerator until 1990, this little bit of bureaucracy was put before the well being of children and their parents.
**A U.S. Department of Justice official, attorney Greer Goldman, attended the court hearing representing the EPA, even though the US EPA was not a party to the hearing. The governments complicity in this matter was underlined in court when WTIs attorney, Chuck Waterman III, was overheard giving instructions to Department of Justice Goldman. An example of one of those instructions, according to Terri Swearingen, was that at one point in the hearing, WTIs Waterman turned to Goldman and said Privilege. Goldman then jumped up and cited privilege concerning the availability of a document under discussion at the hearing. WTI is owned by Swiss-based Von Roll. (The ownership question is still not completely resolved.) Von Roll made parts for the Iraqi Supergun. Because of the sensitivity surrounding Iraq-Gate -or the U.S. role in bankrolling Iraqs war effort- one wonders if the Justice Department was trying to protect something even more politically damaging.
THE WTI STORY IS THE DEATH DANCE OF THE US EPA. As the record will show, officials at US EPA Region V have lied, schemed and deceived in their efforts to facilitate WTIs incinerator. The permit they issued in 1983 was invalid. The core of EPAs cover-up schemes revolve around one fact: a re-issued permit to WTI would have been legally impossible. On October 14, 1992, U.S. Senator Howard Metzenbaum from Ohio, called for the resignation of 14 officials from US EPA Region V, because of their flagrant deception and lies. According to EPAs Hugh Kaufman, the WTI story is the death dance of the US EPA.
We ask our overburdened readers to join in the fight against the WTI incinerator. Please call Gores office and send a letter or letters from your group, churches, etc. We hope you will be able to get to East Liverpool with a car full of family and friends. If you plan to come, please dress warmly. For those who can afford it, please send a contribution to the folks who have been fighting this battle every waking second for over two years (in some cases, over 12 years!). They are spending hundreds of dollars of their money every month on phone bills, xeroxing, mailing, gas, etc. Please send your contribution to: Tri State Environmental Council, PO Box 76, Chester, WV 26034.