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I think you'll find me one the harshest critics of the current level of
information environmental groups use on dioxin issues, e.g. many groups
tend to ignore the regulatory officials and administrators that do
serious work on these issues and a lot of information is overblown (I
could spend twenty pages for the critique of Greenpeace's "Dioxin
Factories Exposed" which is hair's width from out and out libel). I'll
be curious to see the reactions to the USEPA's Dioxin source and
contribution list due out in a week or two . . .
That being said, I do support many initiatives within the various
organizations and I thought many could stand some brief but good news.
Carolina Solite, an aggregate expansion kiln and BIF haz waste
incinerator, was order to shut down all operations July 22. This shut
down was one that came about because of the survey of land enclosed in
the original permit. It appears that the facility had claimed twice as
much distance between the stacks and the property line than there
actually was, which for those of you who don't know, throws off the air
dispersion modeling results considerably, which predicts the exposure
to the local populace to toxics. Why wasn't this caught earlier?
Though some enforcement officials will check the location of sources,
many (most?) will not check the accuracy of the land survey for the
actual property lines, which was the fault here. Most activists and
consultants won't check either. Given this mistake, something new to
add to the checklist of permit reviews by both regulators, activists,
Bad news: Solite was given 60 days to appeal the decision, and current
operations are below their permitted level (so a permit reapplication
may solve the whole thing for Solite). Though Solite has cleaned up
their act considerably with regards to operations over the last five
years, they have not paid anywhere near the fines a more stringent and
dedicated enforcement office would have required for their level of
violations. I had personally written an affidavit against this
facility some years ago (at that time, they had no business burning
natural gas let alone haz waste), and was dismayed at the lack of
action the state brought to bear on a facility with proven violations.
For Joann Almond, a local resident and hero who has been fighting this
plant for years, it is a brief victory and she will continue to need
any help any group can give her.