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E-M:/ Enviros denounce Harding's decision



------------------------------------------------------------------------- Enviro-Mich message from Mary Beth Doyle -------------------------------------------------------------------------
HARDING PERMITS HAZARDOUS WELL DESPITE
COMMUNITY AND SITE REVIEW BOARD OBJECTIONS

For Immediate Release

Contact:
R.P. Lilly, RECAP 734-753-4320
Mary Beth Doyle, Ecology Center 734-663-2400 ext 108
Dave Dempsey, MEC 517-487-9539

The Department of Environmental Quality has issued a permit to allow construction of a hazardous waste injection well in Romulus, overruling the Site Review Board (SRB), appointed by Governor John Engler, which recommended denial of the facility's permit last spring. The SRB had been the final authority on hazardous waste facility proposals until 1991 when an Engler Executive Order shrank the board's role to advisory.

"I am not surprised at all the Russ Harding issued this permit," said R.P. Lilly of RECAP. "He did not sign this yesterday. He signed this permit two years ago when Mr. Harding told the officials of Romulus 'Regardless of the recommendation of the Site Review Board, I intend to issue the permit.'"

"This decision is bad for the people of Romulus and the people of Michigan. It will make Michigan the hazardous waste disposal capital of the Midwest and expose the state to unnecessary risks," said Lana Pollack, President of the Michigan Environmental Council. "It flies in the face of community sentiment and the recommendation of an expert panel. This is just the most recent and vivid example of DEQ Director Harding's allegiance to polluters instead of the public interest."

The well would be the first commercial hazardous waste injection well in the state. Along with serious concerns about the safety of the facility, the SRB recommended denial of the permit because there is no demonstrated need for the facility.

"This decision shows that Engler and Harding welcome out of state waste, despite their claims to the contrary," said Michael Garfield of the Ecology Center. "By approving this well, they are opening Michigan's borders to toxic waste from Canada and other states. They are turning Michigan into the toxic toilet of the Great Lakes region."

Environmentalists vowed to continue the fight to prevent the construction of the well. In Lilly's words, "The rumble in Romulus has just begun."




Mary Beth Doyle, MPH
Environmental Health Project
Ecology Center
117 N. Division
Ann Arbor MI 48104

734-663-2400 ext 108
734-663-2414 (fax)




Mary Beth Doyle, MPH
Environmental Health Project
Ecology Center
117 N. Division
Ann Arbor MI 48104

734-663-2400 ext 108
734-663-2414 (fax)


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