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Re: E-M:/ Romulus residents say No Toxic Well



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Enviro-Mich message from "Julie Griess"<jgriess@provide.net>
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I'd like to add, I was there last night and it was incredible, looking at the
faces of the Site Review Board members on the stage while Phyllis Glazer described
the explosions, fires, clouds of toxic fumes, and resulting health problems
they lived with in her town due to the facility in Winona Texas. As though they
wished they could drop through the floor of the stage.

Please note the deadline for written comments on this issue is December 14.


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>Enviro-Mich message from mike garfield <michaelg@ecocenter.org>
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>
>Last night, over 600 people packed the Romulus High School auditorium to
>urge state decision-makers to reject a hazardous waste disposal facility
>proposed for Romulus.
>
>The crowd was attending the first public hearing held by Michigan's Site
>Review Board, appointed by Governor Engler to review a proposal by
>Environmental Disposal Systems (EDS) to construct and operate a deep
>injection well for liquid toxic wastes near I-94 and Detroit Metro Airport.

>
>The arguments against the facility are compelling.  Michigan already has
>excess capacity for liquid toxic waste.  A new facility would lower
>disposal prices, and thereby discourage future pollution prevention and
>source reduction.  Similar injection facilities have suffered catastrophic

>accidents, leaks, and failures across the country.  The site -- plagued by

>limited ingress and egress, and by proximity to the highway, airport, and a

>residential neighborhood -- is poorly suited to the additional heavy
>traffic. Transportation accidents could be especially dangerous given the
>density of neighboring activity.  The company has a poor and untested track

>record for managing a facility of this nature.  The community is already
>heavily impacted by toxic exposures and waste facilities.  These arguments

>and many others were lodged by Congresswoman Lynn Rivers, State Sen. Chris

>Dingell, State Rep. Ray Basham, more than a dozen local elected officials,

>the Sierra Club, Michigan Environmental Council, Ecology Center, ACCESS,
>and scores of local residents.
>
>The local opposition has been organized by Romulus Environmentalists Care
>About People (RECAP), a feisty group of area residents who've been fighting

>the well for eight years.  Despite physical intimidation, lengthly legal
>battles, well-heeled political lobbying, the apparent demise and re-birth
>of the proposal, the group has persisted in pressuring the state and feds
>to deny EDS' application.  Last night, they led the audience in singing
>Christmas carols ("Noel, No Well"), and brought in Phyllis Glazer, a
>nationally known activist, to provide tear-jerking testimony about the
>decade-long fight waged by her lower-middle-income, racially-mixed Texas
>community to close a deep injection well.  RECAP has been led by R.P. Lilly

>and Debbie Romak, the latter of whom has been elected to the Romulus City
>Council during the course of the struggle.  The strength, intelligence, and

>persistence of RECAP and its leaders has been truly inspiring.
>
>In addition to the local impacts, this issue carries statewide significance

>about hazardous waste disposal facility siting in Michigan.  The Site
>Review Board, comprised of technical experts and two local representatives,

>formerly carried final decision-making authority over haz waste proposals,

>and, during the 1980s, denied 3 out of 7 proposals.  The Board has
>exercised broad authority to deny proposals on various grounds.  When John

>Engler stripped Michigan's boards and commissions of their critical role in

>state environmental regulation, the Site Review Board was one of the few
>bodies that was left in existence, but it was turned into a mere advisory
>board.  The final decision on the Romulus site will be made by DEQ Director

>Harding.  If I'm not mistaken, the EDS/Romulus process is the first
>proposal that a Site Review Board has considered since Engler's
>reorganization.  This Board's recommendation -- and Russ Harding's final
>decision -- about the EDS proposal will set an important precedent for all

>future toxic dump proposals.
>
>The Site Review Board will be holding several future hearings to address
>specific concerns in greater detail.  The calendar for those hearings is
>not yet set.
>
>__________________
>Mike Garfield
>Ecology Center
>117 N. Division
>Ann Arbor, MI  48104
>(734) 761-3186 ext. 104
>(734) 663-2414 (fax)
>michaelg@ecocenter.org
>www.ecocenter.org
>
>
>
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