A publication of Work On Waste USA, Inc., 82 Judson, Canton, NY 13617 315-379-9200 FEBRUARY 1995

The year dioxin becomes manageable?

January 18-19, 1995 William Farland, Director of US EPA’s Office of Health and Environmental Assessment,

Madrid, Spain and Christopher Rappe of Sweden, addressed a Jan. 19th Conference in Madrid, Spain, sponsored by the Spanish Waste Club (a private association of representatives from the waste and chemical industries that actively promote the construction of all types of incinerators). The day before the Conference -- Jan. 18th -- Farland gave a press conference in defence of a municipal solid waste incinerator, under construction in Palma. While the residents of Palma have put up fierce resistance to the project, William Farland gave his endorsement to it in presentations to various politicians and media. The residents of Palma collected 30,000 signatures from residents opposed to the incinerator. According to Spanish law, 10,000 signatures are required to trigger a re-examination of a proposal. Incredibly, the Spanish parliament refused to respond to the residents. The Health Professionals of the Balearic Islands, comprised of 600 doctors, nurses and other health professionals, actively opposed the incinerator project. On March 24, 1994, over 12,000 people in Palma rallied against the project. Thus, William Farland, as a representative of the US EPA, had quite an impact when he publicly endorsed the project. According to Dolores Romano of Greenpeace in Madrid, the incinerator will be owned by the Palma government. Three of the companies involved in building the incinerator are: ABB, VON ROLL and OGDEN MARTIN! [No wonder the Spanish government didn’t respond!] A 1,200 tpd incinerator is under construction in Madrid. The same corporate trio is involved. The Palma and Madrid incinerators are known as “twin” projects, though the Palma incinerator will burn 400 tpd. According to Dolores Romano, the pollution controls for both incinerators are the same: a wet scrubber and baghouse. Though activated carbon injection is under consideration, there is nothing in writing. Dolores told us that William Farland adapted his comments to the audience he was addressing. When Farland spoke to the media, politicians and waste industry, he strongly endorsed incineration. When Farland spoke to environmentalists, his endorsement of incineration was less pronounced. Christopher Rappe has visited Spain on several occasions to defend MSW and hazardous waste incinerator projects; and on one occasion Rappe came to Spain as a guest of the chlorine industry. (In 1993, Rappe spent a week in Montreal, Canada, defending a proposed Foster Wheeler MSW incinerator, a project that has met intense citizen scrutiny and opposition.) For more information contact Dolores Romano at Greenpeace in Madrid. Tel: 011-34-1-543-4704.

A few press excerpts from Farland and Rappe’s visit.
**  “Doctors Farland and Rappe support the   Excerpts from a Jan. 26, 1995, letter        
future incinerator of Son Reus.” - Ultima    to EPA Administrator, Carol Browner from     
Hora, January 19, 1995.                      Juan Gallego Luque, President, Coordinadora  
**    “The American expert stated that a     de Organzacones de Defense Ambiental         
well maintained and controlled incinerator   (CODA), Madrid, Spain.                       
adds, in reality, very little quantity of    “As you may understand, Spanish public       
additional dioxins to the environment, if    opinion and politicians are quite confused   
we compare them to what we and the animals   about the USEPA’s official opinion on        
already have due to the industrialized       dioxins and incineration.  The official      
society.” - Diari de Mallorca, Jan. 19,      [reassessment] documents we have from the    
1995.                                        USEPA....have been dismissed not only by     
**    “The Environment Agency of the USA     the incinerator proponents, but also by the  
denies that incinerators are harmful.” - El  media , after Mr. Farland’s visit.”          
Pais, January 20, 1995.                                                                   

January 30-31, 1995 The National Research Council (NRC) convened its first Committee meeting on the

Washington, D.C. “Health Effects of Waste Incineration.” The NRC’s first public announcement of this meeting was on January 25th. Waste Not requested the resumes of the Committee members but were told by Ray Wassel, the project’s director, that “the NRC was not at liberty to release them.” Committee members include Paul Chrostowski, a rabidly pro-incinerator consultant, currently with Weinberg Consulting Group, in Washington, D.C., and formerly with Clement consultants; Edmund Crouch of the pro-incinerator consulting firm of Cambridge Environmental. (The president of Cambridge Environmental is the infamous Laura Greene.) The Committee Chairman is Donald Mattison who signed on to Environ’s statement challenging EPA’s dioxin reassessment. The main NRC personnel are: project director, Ray Wassel, who from 1984-1987 was a staff engineer for Radian Corp.; and Senior Staff Officer, Carol Maczka, who formerly was a Senior Vice President at Clement International for 9 years. Both Radian and Clement International are consultants to the incinerator industry. Other committee members include Regina Austin (U. of Pennsylvania Law School); Vincent Covello (Center for Risk Management, N.Y.C.); Mary English (U. of Tennessee at Knoxville); Ian Greaves (U. of Minnesota); Katharine Hammond (U. of California, Berkeley); Allen Hershkowitz (Natural Resources Defense Council, N.Y.C.); Kun-Chieh Lee (Union Carbide, WV); Robert J. McCormick (DRE Environmental Services, TN); Thomas McKone (Lawrence Livermore National Labs); Stanford Penner (U. of Calif., La Jolla); Adel Sarofim (a combustion engineer at MIT); George Thurston (Institute for Environmental Medicine, NY University.).Carl M. Shy (U. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Shy was a member of the 1988-1990 peer review study on the habitability of Love Canal. This study agreed that 300 out of 500 homes in the area were habitable. “The study was based on the assumption that safeguards will continue to prevent further leakage from the Love Canal site.”a The decision appalled Lois Gibbs and other environmental groups. A critique of the study concluded that it was “biased and unscientific”b, including the fact that the area was compared with two similarly contaminated neighborhoods in Niagara Falls, rather than with non-contaminated neighborhoods. In August 1990, the Love Canal neighborhood was renamed Black Creek Village in an effort to make it more attractive to potential homeowners.) Sponsors: US EPA, U.S. ATSDR and the U.S. Department of Energy.

The Committee’s “Statement of Task” (Oct. 4, 1994):

“The committee will assess relationships between various aspects of waste combustion and estimates of human health risk. To the extent practicable, the committee will consider the following issues for the combustion of hazardous, nonhazardous, and hospital wastes:

* Relationships between human health risk and various design, siting, and operating conditions at waste combustion facilities, including incinerators, cement kilns, industrial furnaces, and industrial boilers.

* Operating practices at combustion facilities and technologic expectations regarding the release of hazardous substances.

* Appropriate methods for assessing the siting, design, and operation of combustion facilities.

* Appropriate health-based performance criteria for demonstrating that a combustion facility meets and maintains agreed upon health-risk tolerance levels.

* Types of scientific, technical, and other information that should be provided to government officials, industry managers, and the general public to help them understand and weigh the risks associated with waste combustion and its alternatives including innovative ways of oxidizing waste.

* Public perceptions of waste combustion and their bases.

a. Silverman, G., Love Canal: a retrospective, September 15, 1989. Environment Reporter, p 845.

b. Gibbs, L., Lester, S., Comments on the Love Canal Habitability Study, July 1990. Citizens’ Clearinghouse for Hazardous Waste, PO Box 6806, Falls Church, VA 22040. Tel: 703-237-2249.

September 1994 The French Academy of Sciences issued a 117 page report, titled La dioxin

Paris, France. et ses analogues. Because several of the authors of this report included representatives from industries that support incineration, it is little surprise that the report concluded, “No known factors establish PCDD/F as a major health risk.” Three of the authors were from Rhone-Poulenc, and Dow was used as a consultant . The report was published in English in January 1995 -- see details below.

Excerpts from the report’s “General Conclusions”:

* “The only clearly established effect on human health is chloracne...”

* “Man appears to be much less sensitive to consequences of exposure to PCDD/F than most animal species studied. Retrospectively, we see that none of the cases of high-level exposure (blood levels several hundredfold higher than the basic value), which indeed arose in exceptional circumstances, have produced demonstrable pathological effects, except for some work-related incidents that occurred before 1954.

Excerpt from report’s “Recommendations”:

* “Specific industrial waste treatment plants may not pose much of a problem because there are few of them, they are modern and large. Destruction of hospital and domestic waste, however, will probably prove more difficult to control in the future. For domestic refuse in particular renewal and extension of the number of incinerators should be kept up. It will be very important to avoid that a selective collection of materials of high energy content (cardboard, paper, plastics) could lead to poorer plant performance in terms of economy as well as pollution prevention. Rather than imposing predetermined, unnecessarily restrictive regulations, we recommend progress contracts, between the State and municipalities or intermunicipal organizations, that would encourage the adoption of the most efficient and best adapted technologies.”

* “Because of the general public’s fears regarding dioxin, it is desirable to produce clear, objective information, both available for those who want it, and distributed more widely, in particular by local information offices.”

To order: English Version: 250 French Francs ($50); French Version, 150 FF ($30). Plus 45 FF ($9) postage.

Title: La Dioxine et ses analogues, Academy of Sciences (CADAS), Report No. 4. Published September 1994.

Request by fax to 011-33-1-47-40-6702 (dialing from USA). Payment by credit card (AmEx., Visa or Mastercard) .

attention Export Dept., Technique & Documentation, 11, rue Lavoisier, F75384, Paris Cedex 08, France.

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