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E-M:/ Dr. Paul Connett in Hamtramck: a great event!



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Enviro-Mich message from RobC313@aol.com
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It was standing room only as Dr. Paul Connett informed and entertained local 
residents and environmental activists in Hamtramck.     Addressing the 
problem of local and international incineration Paul eloquently mixed good 
science with a sometimes Monty Python delivery that kept the crowd of 100+  
riveted to his every phrase and fact. 

Hosted by the Hamtramck Environmental Action Team (HEAT) in cooperation with 
the Ecology Center and the Sierra Club of SE Michigan the event was held in 
Hamtramck to focus attention on a medical waste incinerator that has been 
operating in Hamtramck since 1991.  Rob Cedar of HEAT claimed to be 
"overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and number of people that came out on what was 
to be the hottest Saturday of the year"  Adding, "It was a wonderful mix of 
seasoned environmentalists that came because they had heard Dr. Connett 
before, and local concerned citizens there to learn about the incinerator."

Calling the event a huge success Hamtramck City Council President Phillip 
Kwik said, "Dr. Connett's  message was clear.  Today we all learned just how 
dangerous incinerators are.  Kwik himself addressed the group detailing the 
history of problems at the Hamtramck Medical waste incinerator that is on its 
5th owner in 9 years.  In 1999 Kwik had painstakingly authored a City 
Ordinance to  strictly control medical waste incineration within the City. 
That ordinance was based on the Health Care Without Harm model regulations 
but toughened up to deal with the special problems at the local facility.  
Kwik's ordinance was reviewed and approved by two attornies expaearanced in 
environmental law and unanamoisly approved by the City Council

Also speaking was Hamtramck Mayor Gary Zych who graciously welcomed everyone 
to the event while aggressively calling for the closing of the incinerator.  
And Wayne County Commissioner Jewel Ware fresh from her involvement in 
getting a commitment from the huge Henry Ford Hospital complex to shut their 
incinerator encouraged the group to stay unified in our effort.

A last minute and most welcome addition to the speakers list was State 
Senator Gary Peters.  Peters had already begun work to introduce state 
legislation partially modeled after Kwik's ordinance.  Because the Hamtramck 
facility is the last commercial medical incinerator within the state, Senator 
Peters was particularly interested in learning more about the local struggle 
and spoke enthusiastically about the importance of strictly controlling and 
monitoring such incinerators.  Speaking of Senator Peters, Cedar said, " It's 
wonderful to have a person of his energy and stature working to help our 
community by eliminating the dangers of medical waste incineration." Cedar 
further stated that HEAT is committed to building grass roots support for a 
medical waste bill that may be opposed by Lansing's moneyed interests. Once 
again, it may come down to profits verses people's health and this time the 
people are going to win!"

Cedar gives a warm thank you to all who attended and to everyone that helped 
with the event. Special thanks go out to Mary Beth Doyle of the Ecology 
Center, Anna Holden of the Sierra Club and HEAT's own Pam Lucas, plus a nod 
and a smile to Health Care Without Harm for making Dr. Connett available. 

Rob Cedar
HEAT

  









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