A publication of Work On Waste USA, Inc., 82 Judson, Canton, NY 13617 315-379-9200 SEPTEMBER 1994
In a 1992 test, dioxin levels
peaked at 17,892 nanograms
per cubic meter of exhaust gas
-- nearly 600 times the EPA guidelines.
In the March 1994 test, dioxin levels
peaked at 3,790 nanograms per
cubic meter of exhaust gas.
Selected entries from the Columbus incinerator operators log:
2-14-94 We lost our north 2-17-94 Continue to isolate the north end trash. I do end trash last weekend, but M.R. trash on the north end not know how to avoid have recovered...Remember of the pit and hold this problems if everyone ignores the tests are very important trash. orders. If anyone has and is our future. We must 2-18-94 I passed written sugges-tions, please let me have the best combustion order to hold on the north know. This test is our possible... end of the pit. If you look future and I would think 2-15-94 Brian Hatfield on page 269, 270, 271 you every-one would be extremely instructed his M.R. [Morse will read the written orders. interested in helping out if Road shredder station] After my investigation, it possible. It is sad to operators to use trash from appears 2nd shift crane think there is so little other areas of the pit as we operator used the good, dry interest in the future of must have a good source of material on Sunday Feb. 20, this facility... trash for the test. Hold 1994. 2-22-94 Continue to keep the north end trash. 2-21-94 Once again, inform M.R. trash in the north 2-16-94 NOTE - We are all crane operators to hold three bays. We will fill trying to get material north end trash. I had the area up with M.R. trash (trash) in place for the maintenance place rail stops in preparation for our test...Save the north end between #5 & #6 bunkers, but testing. trash. this creates a problem also. Ref: The Columbus Free Now we cannot fluff Press, Summer 1994.
According to the Summer 1994 issue of the Free Press (Columbus, Ohio): The log substantially confirms a whistle-blowers account of activities prior to the testing. At a May 9, U.S. EPA public meeting in Columbus, Sherry Loscko, a member of Parkridge Area Residents Take Action (PARTA), informed officials that a source inside the plant reported that trash was stockpiled in one area of the pit, they were turning it with cranes to dry it. According to Loscko, this was being done to lower the dioxin levels emitted from the stacks during the U.S. EPA testing...William Sanjour, U.S. EPA Policy Analyst, wrote an April 12 memo warning Valdus V. Adamkus, U.S. EPA Region V Administrator, that the actions of SWACO [trash authority] might constitute a criminal conspiracy to violate federal environment laws...Rigging the test results was a fairly easy thing to do since the U.S. EPA consent order required only one boiler to be tested. If the U.S. EPAs original requirement to test all six boilers had been complied with, the logistics would have been far more diffcult. The boiler chosen was retrofitted with natural gas burning capabilities, and the test did not occur during soot-blowing when dioxin levels are usually at their peak...SWACOs official explanation is that they stored trash because they were worried about runing out of trash for the test. Sherry Losco wonders why, if the lack of trash was a concern, were they secretly shipping trash to Mid-America to have the total tonnage reduced...
Q. What is the difference between a mathematician, a philosopher and an incinerator consultant?
A. If you ask a mathematician what 2 + 2 is, he or she will tell you 4. If you ask a philosopher he or she will tell you it depends what you mean by 2 and what you mean by plus! If you ask an incinerator consultant he will tell you to shut the door and ask you what you want it to be.
On August 18, 1994, Mr. Pompili organized an extraordinary press conference in Columbus, Ohio. During this Orwellian media event Mr. Pompili tried to change the laws of elementary arithmatic and physics in a transparent effort to stonewall any meaningful action to address the extraordinarily high dioxin emissions measured in 1992 from the Columbus incinerator. Mr. Pompili hired Dr. Greg Rigo, of the consulting firm Rigo & Rigo from Cleveland, Ohio, to explain the dioxin situation to concerned residents and media. Without referring to any dioxin emissions from the Columbus incinerator, Dr. Rigo confidently calculated the sources of dioxin in the U.S. Environment:
62 % = from unknown sources (possibly volcanoes & rotting wood)
20.5 % = from motor vehicles
4 % = from the production of herbicides & pesticides
2.6 % = from ALL U.S. MUNICIPAL WASTE INCINERATORS
2 % = from chlorine bleaching of paper
Oddly enough, Dr. Rigos calculations yield 850 grams of dioxin TEQs from ALL 100+ operating U.S. MSW incinerators per year, even though he knew that just one of those incinerators --the Columbus incinerator -- (based on a 1992 test) was yielding 984 grams dioxin TEQ! In this new arithmetic apparently one can add the combined dioxin emissions of over 100 incinerators to one incinerator emission of 984 grams, and get a grand total of 850 grams!!! After Dr. Rigo had given his paid performance, Mr. Pompili called upon Sam Waltz, deputy director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Mr. Waltz introduced a whole new theory about deposition of dioxins near a trash incinerator. Mr. Waltz said that all the dioxins fall within 2 km (less than 2 miles) of the plant. Mr. Waltz stated that beyond 2 km, dioxin measurements drop to background levels! Mr. Waltz said it was fortunate for the citizens of Columbus that there is no agriculture within 2 km. The nearest fields used for animal feed are between 2 and 4 km, and even one of those is now being taken over for a housing development. Columbus, Ohio, is really a lucky place! Mr. Pompili then concluded that MSW incineration is a minor contributor of dioxin to the environment and it would be premature to spend $65 million to retrofit the incinerator until all the dioxin sources contributing to the Columbus area had been identified. As director of the Columbus Health Dept., Mr. Pompili cautioned that tax payers money must be wisely spent! Waste Not editors think the wisest way to save money would be to ask Mr. Pompili to resign as Director of the Columbus Health Department and to shut down the Columbus trash incinerator forthwith.
For more information: Concerned residents in Columbus have been trying to do everything possible to shut down this incinerator. The above is a taste of the opposition with which they are confronted. For more information contact: Teresa Mills at 614-871-1353; Sherry & Stan Losco at 614-875-9977; Joan Seaman at 614-791-1378; or Rick Sahli at 614-224-4914.
Editors: Ellen & Paul Connett, 82 Judson Street, Canton, New York 13617. Tel: 315-379-9200. Fax: 315-379-0448.