A publication of Work On Waste USA, Inc., 82 Judson, Canton, NY 13617 315-379-9200 OCTOBER 1993

Al Gore:
Put integrity back in the balance.

On Saturday, NOVEMBER 6,
at 10 AM, there will be a
across from the White House in Lafayette Park.

Once again the citizens in the East Liverpool area are asking all of us to help stop the outrage that is taking place in their community. On December 7, 1992, Vice President-elect Al Gore promised to help the residents of East Liverpool, Ohio. Al Gore’s promises were empty words. Gore has done nothing. Von Roll’s WTI incinerator --America’s largest capacity hazardous waste incinerator-- has been permitted to spew its poisons If Al Gore cannot use his office to stand up to this one greedy corporation, then what chance has he got to help restore a balance to Planet Earth? Ohio Valley residents and Greenpeace are initiating a recall of Al Gore’s book, Earth in the Balance. Please bring your copy of the book to the NOV. 6th Rally, with your personal messages to the administration written inside the front cover.

ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS The books will be returned to

Cartoon by Peter Connett Al Gore at the White House.

According to renowned public health expert Dr. David Ozonoff:

“[T]he WTI facility is the worst siting decision I have seen in my twenty-five years of practice in public health. Locating a major hazardous waste incinerator 300 feet from the nearest residence and 1100 feet from an elementary school with 400 children...amounts to administrative incompetence if not malfeasance in office...and does violence to common sense.”


In June, the Attorney General of Ohio, Lee Fisher, released an investigative report into Von Roll’s WTI incinerator. According to the Attorney’s General report:

“Under Ohio hazardous waste   “When a facility has changed   “As divulged by the           
law, no person may treat,     hands, the facility must       information obtained during   
store, or dispose of          instead apply for a permit     the investigation, WTI has    
hazardous waste unless that   change known as a              undergone a series of         
person possesses a permit     ‘modification’ or ‘revision.’  changes.  WTI has neither     
from the Hazardous Waste       If a buyer or other           applied for nor received any  
Facility Board (HWFB).  R.C.  transferee of a hazardous      revisions or modifications    
3734.02(E), (F),              waste facility treats,         of the permit authorizing     
RC.3734.05(C).  Once a        stores, or disposes of         installation and operation    
person has a permit, that     hazardous waste at the         under these circumstances,    
person may not transfer the   facility without modification  in violation of R.C.3734(E)   
permit to another person      or revision of the permit,     and R.C.3734.05.”             
without permission from the   that person is owning or                                     
State.”     Page 82.          operating the permit in                                      
                              violation of R.C.3734.02(E)                                  
                              and R.C. 3734.05(C).”                                        
                               Page 83.                                   Page 104.        


                    According to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office:                     

“Therefore, the report concludes that WTI’s changes of ownership have resulted in unlawful installation and operation of the facility by the current owner, in violation of the three Ohio provisions of law which prohibit ownership and operation without a permit.”

Letter to Terri Swearingen from Jack Van Kley, Chief, Environmental Enforcement Section,

Ohio Attorney General’s office, Columbus, Ohio. Dated September 22, 1993.

WTI plant gets $79,000 slap on wrist. Federal regulators yesterday fined [Von Roll]...for failing to notify authorities of a change in operational control of the plant and for improperly storing hazardous waste...The EPA said yesterday that it had decided to approve the transfer after the fact. Also after the fact, the EPA announced yesterday that it was planning to allow Waste Technologies to change its listed owner on its federal permit to Von Roll America Inc....” Cleveland Plain-Dealer, 8-25-93.

A Look at ‘Some’ of the illegalities that Federal and State Agencies have tolerated to accommodate VON ROLL:

* U.S. EPA Region V officials admitted at a 5-7-92 U.S. Congressional Hearing that they violated federal law when they issued WTI its first permit on June 24, 1983. (See NY Times, 5-8-92, 2 Admit EPA Violated Hazardous Waste Law in Issuing Permit.)

* At the same Congressional Hearing, EPA Region V officials admitted that they had illegally added the Columbiana Port Authority’s name to WTI’s permit on 2-3-92. (The Port Authority owned the land where the incinerator is located and by federal law they should have been listed in 1983 as a co-permittee. To address the original illegal permit, EPA Region 5 went their tried-and-true route: engage in more illegalities.)

* The Ohio Attorney General tells us that the company, Von Roll, who built the facility in 1990 did not have an Ohio state permit to build the incinerator and that Von Roll was not the same company who got the EPA permits in 1983.

* In August 1984 the Ohio State Legislature enacted new siting criteria which prohibited the building of a hazardous waste incinerator within 2,000 feet of homes, hospitals and schools. Amazingly, WTI was ‘grandfathered’ because they obtained their “illegal” permits in 1983, even though they did not start to build the incinerator till 1990.

Waste Not Comment: Since ‘day one’ federal EPA Region V has been cynically manipulating the law with respect to the permitting of hazardous waste incinerators in the U.S. With each cynical manipulation they have undermined the public trust in their government and government agencies. Let’s spell it out. The name of the game as far as the hazardous waste industry is concerned is to maximize their profits and to minimize their liabilities. Both the Ohio EPA (a state agency) and the federal EPA Region V have helped them at every turn. What are citizens expected to do when they see their government agencies breaking the law? With citizens’ efforts, perhaps we can persuade Al Gore to force the EPA to obey the laws. The citizens of the Ohio Valley have helped other communities fight incineration projects. Their efforts played a major role in forcing the U.S. EPA to effect an 18-month moratorium, in May 1993, on the permitting of hazardous waste incinerators. Cruelly, the EPA excluded East Liverpool from that moratorium. Please do whatever you can to get Von Roll’s incinerator shut down.

THE NOVEMBER 6th RALLY: If you are unable to attend the Rally but would like to support the effort, please mail your book to: Terri Swearingen, Rt.1, Box 365, Rt. 30, Chester, WV 26034, tel: 304-387-0574. If you are interested in non-violent direct action, contact Beth Knapp,216-386-6935 or Niaz Dorry,Greenpeace,202-319-2520

WASTE NOT # 249. 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 $US50; Overseas $65. Editors: Ellen & Paul Connett, 82 Judson Street, Canton, NY 13617. Tel: 315-379-9200. Fax: 315-379-0448.