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Re: E-M:/ Toxic waste and race

Enviro-Mich message from Gary Stock <gstock@net-link.net>

Alex Sagady wrote:

> "dodging a bullet" will ultimately mean someone else takes it elsewhere

Absolutely; that was my very first thought when Kalamazoo was spared. 
(Thus, I didn't say, "The problem has been solved." :-)  It'll just go
to some other moderate- to low-income census block!

There are now two apparent target disposal sites:  one in Zeeland
(presumably Waste Management's Autumn/Auburn Hills facility), the other
"near Detroit," so Alex's guess about Wayne Disposal is as good as any. 
I haven't seen more specifics in the local media.  

Both sites are being described as "able to accept PCB contaminated
soil," which at one time I would have called "type III restricted" -- or
whatever the equivalent is nowadays to accept PCB items under 40 C.F.R.

(Hehe... fifteen years later, being on the County Solid Waste Planning
Committee finally comes in handy :-)

Note that Fred Upton took a strong stance in a letter to EPA:


   Thank you for your response to my recent letter requesting a 
   one-month moratorium in operations pertaining to the cleanup
   of the Plainwell impoundment site on the Kalamazoo River. I 
   appreciate the granting of the moratorium and was pleased that
   your department took this opportunity to meet with Kalamazoo 
   city officials and establish a dialogue with residents on this
   critical matter. 

   However, I absolutely oppose any resolution that puts the citizens
   of Kalamazoo in harm?s way ? we cannot be too cautious when clean
   drinking water and our residents? health hang in the balance. I do
   not understand how the city and its residents were excluded from 
   the initial decision-making process, especially with such 
   considerable quality of life issues in play...

I suggest reading the rest of his letter there, to see how stern a US
House member _can_ be when they really want EPA's attention!  The
language seems uncommonly direct.

It certainly must have been helpful to have Upton's support.  However, I
believe most credit must go to Kalamazoo's mayor, city commission, city
staff, and neighborhood residents, who all worked together to create
public awareness and clarity of intent.

Details of the EPA announcement (just _above_ a copy of Upton's letter):


...which Rita Jack already had posted to EM a few days back :-)

Comments by Douglas Cowin, "an associate of Chicago-based Arcadis BBL,
the firm the EPA is contracting with to perform the cleanup," promoting
use of the Kalamazoo site:


Winner of the 2007 George Tenet Award for Most Insensitive Use of "Slam Dunk."

Corwin fails to mention two strikes (or, I suppose, two "foul shots")
against the proposed Allied Paper site in Kalamazoo:  1) the dump would
be on the banks of the Kalamazoo River, and 2) the dump would be within
a wellhead protection zone for the City of Kalamazoo.  EPA hadn't
bothered to discover that second issue!

Note one important caveat:  this retreat by EPA controls activity in
2007 ONLY.  Questions remain open as to where dredging spoils will be
placed in 2008!

And, to emphasize my earlier point:  I wouldn't put money on the 2008
dump site being in a "non-white" neighborhood -- but I _would_ bet that
few if any rich folks will see those trucks come and go!


"Alexander J. Sagady" wrote:
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Enviro-Mich message from "Alexander J. Sagady" <ajs@sagady.com>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> The path of least resistance on the issue of PCB waste in
> Kalamazoo probably leads down I-94 to the East to Bill Tobler's
> neighborhood to Wayne Disposal, EQ or whatever they
> are calling it these days....squeezed between I-94 and Willow Run
> airport near Ypsilanti.....the final resting place for PCB waste from
> all around the several of the Midwest states.
> If you're from the South, the analogous facility is operated in
> Aniston, Alabama.

Gary Stock                                        gstock@unblinking.com
UnBlinking                                   http://www.unblinking.com/
Googlewhack                                 http://www.googlewhack.com/

               Alberto Gonzales is a liar and traitor.
               No wonder his boss has kept him around.

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