On Feb 14, 1992, a four-day jury trial concluded in which the "necessity
defense" was raised for 31 citizens charged with criminal trespass
for climbing over the fence between WTI and the access road on Oct
The jury found the 31 citizens "not guilty"; the harm
they sought to prevent was imminent and much greater than the harm
caused by the act of trespass.
Dr. David Ozonoff, Chair of the Environmental Health Studies
Department of Boston University's School of Public Health, testified that
"Locating this incinerator here makes as much sense as designing a
transportation system in Death Valley that relies on ice skates."
Herbert Needleman, world's leading expert on the effects of lead in
children, testified that "the children in nearby East Elementary will
suffer the negative effects of lead."
- Dr. Michael McCawley,
Professor of Air Pollution Control at West Virginia University, criticized
the siting of the incinerator on the river in a valley where air
inversions will cause the toxic pollution from WTI to blanket the area two
out of every three days, causing serious health risks. He testified that
the EPA used inappropriate and inadequate air modeling to issue the
- Hugh Kaufman, U.S. EPA official, testified that the
permits were invalid and illegal.
- Dr. Paul Connett,
Dioxin researcher and Chemistry Professor at St. Lawrence University, New
York, testified that the host communities of the other 18 operating
commercial hazardous waste incinerators in the U.S. are plagued with
serious health problems, and that the history of the incineration industry
is one of fires, explosions and accidents.