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E-M:/ Hamtramck MI Medical incinerator cited by epa

Enviro-Mich message from RobC313 <RobC313@aol.com>

Rob Cedar
Hamtramck Environmental Action Team
1999 Trowbridge Hamtramck MI 48212
365-4722 or robc313@aol.com

May, 10 98

Hello, Fellow environmentalists

I came across this news release and thought you would be interested in my
comments, I also ask  you to take a moment and contact these individuals. Let
them know how you feel about this Corporate Polluter, Tell them to shut it
down! -Or if you have specific tactical advice please let me know   -Rob- more
comments at end of release

United States 
Environmental Protection Agency
Region 5
77 West Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60604



Legal Contact: Brad Beeson (312) 353-8919

Technical Contact: Jeffrey L. Gahris (312) 886-6794

Media Contact: William Omohundro (312) 353-8254

For Immediate Release: April 30, 1998 

No. 98-OPA123


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 5 has recently cited City
Medical Waste Services, Inc., for alleged clean-air violations at the
company's commercial medical waste incinerator, 3900 Christopher Ave.,
Hamtramck, MI, in the Detroit area.

EPA said a stack test last November showed City Medical exceeded State
emission limits for mercury, a toxic air pollutant.  

This is a preliminary finding of violations.  To resolve these violations, EPA
may issue a compliance order, assess an administrative penalty, or bring suit
against the company.  The company has 30 days to request a
meeting to discuss the allegations and how to resolve them.

"Mercury emissions are potentially a serious threat to human health and the
environment," said David Kee, director of the regional Air and Radiation
Division.  "We will take all necessary steps to ensure that
companies comply with the regulations." 

Mercury tends to bioaccumulate in organisms and persist at high levels in some
areas of the Great Lakes.  Eating contaminated fish is how most people are
commonly exposed to mercury, which is very toxic, even in small doses.  It
affects the central nervous system, kidneys, and liver. 


My comments would include:

This EPA citation (for mercury emissions) is a positive sign but underscores
the tolerance shown this facility by the Wayne County agency responsible for
local enforcement. Wendy Barrott (Director of Wayne County Air Quality
Division) had repeatedly assured me that if they could not meet the permit
standards they would not be allowed to operate. Now after years of non-
compliance the Feds have to step in and do what Wayne County and the State of
Michigan should have been doing all along.

City Medical claims to have spent millions of dollars to upgrade the facility
but a detailed study of county and state documents reveals  no new technology
or additional control methods were adapted toward making this Incinerator burn
cleaner. Sure they replaced worn out items but my guess is they spent the
money on maintaining the status quo.

If the EPA dose the right thing and shuts this facility it will be moving
Environmental Justice into the 21st century. This isn't just an incident of
local pollution, this goes to the very core of human dignity!.  This asks the
important question of weather or not our government is willing (or able) to
protect the  citizenry from a documented corporate polluter. 

Any Questions or comments, please contact me

Rob Cedar

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