Page 1


COMMERCIAL HAZARDOUS WASTE INCINERATORS IN TEXAS Facility Name TWC District J. M. Huber Technology Borger Parkans, International Harris Rollins Environmental Harris Stauffer Chemical Harris Chemical Waste Management Gulf Coast Waste Disposal Houston Chemical Thermal Kinetics PRIVATE HAZARDOUS WASTE INCINERATORS IN TEXAS BASF BASF B. F. Goodrich Catalyst Resources Celanese Chemical Celanese Chemical Celanese Chemical Dixico Chemical Dow, Freeport Dow, La Porte DuPont DuPont FMC Corporation Magna-Fab Southwest Mobay Chemical Nalco Chemical PA, Inc. Pennwalt, Beaumont Pennwalt, Houston Phillips Petroleum Shell Chemical Standard Oil Texaco Texaco Chemical Texas Eastman U.S. Industrial Chemicals Union Carbide U.S. Army, Red River U.T.. Health Science Center U.T. Medical Branch DuPont Sandoz Crop Protection Brazoria Brazoria Harris Harris Harris Nueces Brazos Dallas Brazoria Harris Harris Jefferson Harris Grayson Chambers Fort Bend Ector Jefferson Harris Harris Harris Dallas Calhoun Montgomery Jefferson Harrison Harris Galveston Bowie Dallas Galveston Source, Texas Water Commission turned to the audience. “Man is destroying himself, all over the world, because of greed.” When a Thermal Kinetics official attempting to explain that the plant would be operated “in a heads-up manner,” strictly avoiding criminal penalties from regulatory agencies such as the EPA, a slender, bald man in an orange T-shirt rose from the audience and gravely and forcefully informed him, via the floor microphone, “The EPA’s been to bed with almost every major polluter in this country!” No doubt the televised reports of catastrophes at Chernobyl and Bhopal have informed the views of the residents, but much credit must also be given to the intensive educational efforts offered by the resisters, both in COP and outside of the group. From the outset, the emphasis has been upon the impact hazardous waste incineration can have upon both the environment and people’s health in this land of four lakes. They pointed out that the waste may include heavy metals such as antimony, arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, lead, and mercury. Some, they pointed out, cannot be destroyed by incineration but only changed into vapors which re-form. Probably no speaker carries more weight than Thomas K. Ewan, because of his background and stature in his field. Before he began his work at Lone Star Steel in 1960 he served, as a civilian, as the senior naval representative for the Naval Ordnance Aerophysics Laboratory where he helped test the hydrogen engine for the space shuttle as well as components for the missile program. A holder of patents in both the U.S. and foreign countries, he has published numerous articles in scientific and technical journals. In 1977 he represented the U.S. at the Fourth World Clean Air Congress in Tokyo. “Before I publicly entered into this matter,” Ewan, a Presbyterian elder since 1950, tells his audiences, “I went to God in prayer many times. When a man reaches the Biblical three score and ten, I felt it might be time for younger minds. But each time, my mind was turned to the verse in Luke ‘To he who much is given, of him shall be much required.’ I knew that in this small narrow band of knowledge and expertise that it was my task to share with you what God has entrusted to me.” His message is both a technical assessment and a moral crusade. He has stated that he is not opposed to incineration, per se, but is strongly opposed to the “overpowering of nature in one place.” He continues, “Proven technology does not exist anywhere in the world to safely import and incinerate up to 80,000 tons of hazardous wastes per year in a single location. Let me simply tell you this proposed project is fraught with unbelievable danger, unlimited and unbounded uncertainty, and unimaginable risk.” He maintains that of 80,000 tons to be incinerated, from 20,000 to 30,000 tons of bottom ash would remain to be buried, while around 30,000 tons of polluted slurry water from the wet scrubbers would have to be disposed of. “So, really, not much has been gained. Still have to bury somewhere around 50,000 tons a year, and it only started with 80,000 tons. Hundreds of thousands of tons of air will have been contaminated each year from the incineration process with micro-fines, toxic metals, dioxins, furans, and a host of other pollutants. History will report this as proven intellectual insanity. “If the project were only for Lone Star Steel and its neighbors to burn a few tons of hazardous wastes per year from operations, nature would likely diffuse and handle this amount without significant danger. The burning of hazardous wastes in small quantities where they are generated is the best method of accomplishment not to overpower nature in a single location. Too great a concentration of hazardous wastes in a single location will overpower nature. You can be sure of it. The only question is when. “Let the message go forward, from 14 DECEMBER 18, 1987