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correction in my incinerator posting
In my posting about incinerators vs. recycling, I stated that the U.S.
Supreme Court had ruled that incinerator ash was hazwaste. That was rather a
simplification of what happened; in fact, what the court said is that
incinerator ash was not exempted from the rules of measuring waste to see if
it should be classified as hazwaste, in a suit brought about by several
environmental groups. It was known that both the bottom ash (contaminated
with heavy metals) and the fly ash (contaminated with dioxin) would be
classified as hazwaste in many or most cases.
In some sort of deal (and I am told that the EDF was
involved as well) the EPA changed the ash handling and testing rules,
allowing the mixing of ash before testing, and using a non-acid water
leaching test. The bottom ash diluted the dioxin content sufficiently to be
under the regs for PCDD/PCDF-contaminated wastes, and the lime added to the
fly-ash at the precipitator alkalized the mixture so that the non-acid test
found insignificant heavy metal leachate. (Of course the same amount of
dioxin is still there, and the heavy metals are still there.)
I hope this emission "clears the air" and corrects the omission, so to
This is what I meant by a political technique for making the ash non-toxic.