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E-M:/ Hamtramck incinerator re-emerges!

Enviro-Mich message from Mary Beth Doyle <marybeth@ecocenter.org>

It is hard to believe that the DEQ is considering granting this facility a new permit, when they are currently IN LITIGATION to resolve a series of serious on-going violations. The very permit materials indicate just how recalcitrant the company has been. So now they want to give them a new, less stringent permit? Incredible!!!!

The fact sheet that accompanies the permit includes the following paragraph:

"On April 14, 2004, the MDEQ filed a lawsuit against MWS alleging that the company had violated its current permit for the medical waste incinerator. Among other things, the lawsuit alleges that MWS exceeded its permitted limit for mercury, failed to comply with the permit's Malfunction Abatement Plan and Mercury Waste Management Plan, and failed to conduct stack testing as required by a 1999 Consent Order that the company signed with the MDEQ. The MDEQ asked to court stop [sic] MWS from operating the incinerator unless it is in compliance with its permit and all applicable laws and to order MWS to pay fines for the violations."

At 10:42 AM -0500 11/5/04, RobC313@aol.com wrote:
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Dear fellow environmentalists, clean air activists, mercury activists and pursuers of Environmental Justice

(sorry for cross posting but this is both immediate and important)

It would seem that if a company is so uncooperative that they refuse to settle (even acknowledge) dozens of permit violations thus forcing the MDEQ to file a lawsuit against them, then the MDEQ should not even consider issuing that company another permit while those violations are still outstanding. Especially when the company itself says that it does not agree with the provisions of the new permit.

Yet, the State has announced a public comment period regarding the MDEQ's intent to approve a draft permit to allow the medical waste incinerator in Hamtramck to burn pathological, chemotherapeutic, pharmaceutical, low level radioactive and up to 10% (by weight) medical/infectious waste. All this by the same owners that were issued multiple violations for failing to perform stack testing, keep proper records or to maintain their equipment.

A Permit to install is an agreement between a company and the state that the company will comply with the permit. Considering the long miserable history of this facility (and this owner), there is absolutely no reason for anybody to trust that this company will comply with a new permit when it obviously made no effort to comply with its earlier Permits or Consent Agreements. MDEQ should not even be considering it let alone intending to issue it.

Pleas join us in our effort to block this permit. It is not only a threat to the health of our community, and a drain on local property values but operates just across the street and upwind of some of the poorest minority neighborhoods in Hamtramck and Detroit. For the State to even consider this permit is totally out of character of the "new" MDEQ and a prime example of environmental injustice.

If you are interested in helping in this important battle please mark your calendars for the nights of Nov 15 and December 2 for hearings and meetings in Hamtramck. For more details please reply.

Thank you

Rob Cedar
HEAT- Hamtramck Environmental Action Team
Hamtramck City Councilperson


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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