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Musings on the way home from CCHW conference....

  After spending 3 days with a whole lot of high energy people
  at the CCHW conference in DC this past weekend, I decided to 
  visit some waste sites on the way back home to make
  the best of the miles back home.....   After
  getting out of the "power suit," giving up on shaving for the ride home
  and making the environmental consultant to "joe six-pack" transition,
  and spending the night camped out somewhere in central
  Pennsylvania, the first site was.......
  ...the WTI site in East Liverpool OH.....  I wanted to see it for myself.
  The descriptions of how bad this site is for this hazwaste incinerator
  have not really done justice to how actually bad it is...   it is much worse
  I had expected.  This would be a bad site for nearly any kind of 
  major emitting facility, not just a hazardous waste incinerator.
  The low income community is right on top of the site.   In the event
  of fire/explosions involving waste, there would be no time at all
  for response..... given the wrong wind direction, accident-related
  emissions would be immediately on top of the local community
  and the school in minutes at low wind speeds.
  The streets of this exposed community are narrow and congested, which
  would make emergency situations/transport more difficult.
  Such an accident is not a theoretical matter....  a hazardous waste
  "blending facility" in Tennessee recently had an explosion and fire.   Such
  incidents can occur from poor management of static discharges that
  buildup from liquids flow, failure to maintain a nitrogen blanket
  in hazwaste tanks combined with an ignition source
  or from human error from such things as driving
  tank trucks off with hoses still connected....
  WTI is in a valley with the Ohio River at the bottom.   The terrain rises
  most sharply across the river to the general south of the site away from the
  but it also rises in the direction towards the low income community.
  This makes predictions of the ambient effects of emissions...either
  usual emissions or accidental...  much more problematic and more 
  likely to be severe.
  I drove by the elementary school close by to the site.  There are 4 total
  suspended particulate monitors, 3 PM-10 monitors and a meteorological
  tower operating on the roof of the school.   Has anyone reviewed
  the results of this ambient  monitoring???   Are they doing "speciated"
  analyzing particulate filters for toxic metals and hazardous organic
  ....on to a "double header"......   Wampum PA in Lawrence County in 
  Western PA.....
  Wampum is blessed with two waste facilities within about a mile of each
  ....  The Wampum PA Medusa Cement plant....
  As of 1994 this plant had doubled its burning of hazardous waste to over
  49,000 tons per year compared to prior years.   Medusa has had stack test
  results showing one of the highest PCDD/PCDF test results in the US of 
  all waste-burning cement kilns.   This facility has been busted by the 
  Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources for excessive
  visible  particulate
  emissions.    This is an example of one of the 20 or so cement kilns 
  burning hazardous waste in facilities with 25-30 year old
  non-state-of-the-art air pollution controls.
  On the day I saw it, Medusa had a lot of stack particulate emissions
  and significant fugitive (non-stack) emissions were visible....
  As near as I can tell, there are no citizens/citizen groups paying any
  attention at all  to this plant....
  ...on to   Alaron Corporation, Wampum PA.....
  This nondescript looking warehouse style industrial site with a lot of 
  transport containers in the large yard is about a mile from the Medusa
  Cement Plant.   I discovered Alaron Corporation as a waste-related
  site by accident while doing research on Medusa.   Some large
  pieces of cut-up metal castings are evident in the yard.
  It turns out that Alaron receives low level radioactive waste from
  nuclear power plants throughout the United States.
  A local Lawrence County business directory indicates that
  Alaron Corporation is in the "metal reclamation" business....
  Alaron is listed in directories of nuclear plant vendors and
  as a client for radiation detection devices.....
  Maybe some Pennsylvania and/or radwaste activists will 
  take a deeper look at what is going on at Alaron Corporation,
  Wampum PA
  ...so it goes on the journey home...
  Alex J. Sagady & Associates        Email:  asagady@sojourn.com
  Environmental Consulting and Database Systems
  PO Box 39  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039  
  (517) 332-6971 (voice); (517) 332-8987 (fax)