Dec 30, 1992NEW YORK -- " is hardly encouraging that on [Gore's] first outing as the new administration's environmental czar, he's lined up with the antitechnology pagans in the environmentalist camp...." editorial, Wall Street Journal.
Dec 15, 1992LITTLE ROCK, AR -- Citizens deliver to President-elect Clinton's office petitions containing 20,000 signatures of residents opposed to WTI.
NEW YORK -- "Please Mr. President-elect, Give our town hope," full-page Von Roll ad in the New York Times, Washington Post, and papers in East Liverpool and Little Rock.
Dec 7, 1992WASHINGTON, DC -- Statement on WTI, Vice President-Elect Al Gore, New York Times, United Press International.
Nov 26, 1992 EAST LIVERPOOL -- Four teachers arrested on Nov 23 are released, after spending two days, including Thanksgiving Day, in jail.
Nov 24, 1992EAST LIVERPOOL -- Four of the teachers arrested on Nov 23 plead "no contest". They are fined $150.00 plus $48.50 in court costs. They are sentenced to 48 hours in jail, 8 hours of community service and one year probation.
Nov 23, 1992EAST LIVERPOOL -- Peaceful protest at WTI site. Seven teachers and two bystanders arrested. Since Oct 13, 1992 there have been 183 arrests, including arrest of physicians, nurses, teachers, attorneys, union members, grandparents and parents.
Nov 22, 1992 EAST LIVERPOOL -- Over 500 people attend a peaceful rally in the rain. Seventy-five citizens arrested at the site for criminal trespass.
Nov 20, 1992 EAST LIVERPOOL -- Six small business owners arrested for blocking the WTI gates.
Nov 19, 1992EAST LIVERPOOL -- Eleven union members arrested for blocking the WTI gates.
Nov 18, 1992EAST LIVERPOOL -- Two physicians and three nurses arrested for blocking the WTI gates.
Nov 17, 1992EAST LIVERPOOL -- Eleven parents arrested for blocking the WTI gates.
Nov 16, 1992EAST LIVERPOOL -- Eight grandparents arrested for blocking the WTI gates.
Nov 13, 1992CHARLESTON, WV -- Federal District Judge Fred Stamp denies West Virginia's petition for an injunction basing his decision on his belief that the certainty that WTI would lose money outweighed the risk of harm to the community.
Oct 22, 1992EAST LIVERPOOL -- Two Ohio residents, Alonzo Spencer and Jeff Bennett, filed a Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief against the CCPA, ODOT and WTI for the illegal sale of public CCPA property to a private, forprofit Swiss Corporation.
Oct 16, 1992CHARLESTON, WV -- Hearing on West Virginia preliminary injunction concludes.
Oct 13, 1992CHARLESTON, WV -- Four day hearing begins on preliminary injunction by West Virginia to block operation of incinerator.
Oct 5, 1992WASHINGTON, DC -- Ohio Senator Howard Metzenbaum in a letter to U.S. EPA Administrator William Reilly, concerning a three-page secret memo from U.S. EPA Regional Counsel Nancy Ellen Zusman to all senior EPA regional personnel working on WTI, wrote, "I was shocked by the contents of the ... ... memorandum"
"The memo outlined a sixteen point chronology of steps that U.S. EPA would undertake culminating in a date certain in which, 'WTI would be allowed to bring hazardous waste on site (Feb. 1993).' What the memo makes clear is that it was the position of U.S. EPA all along to give WTI the goahead. The questions raised by the U.S. EPA Inspector General, the administrative appeals and other outstanding issues were merely to be handled for public relations purposes. There would be no serious examination of the issues, just a resume of steps to be completed before announcing the final decision to bring hazardous waste on site."
"I don't believe that I have ever seen such irresponsibility on the part of government officials. The Region V staff from the Administrator down through the fourteen other individuals to whom the Zusman memo was addressed are so completely compromised that the public has no chance of getting a fair determination. And I am frank to say to you that you don't seem to understand that you are being made a party to this. I urge you to suspend the WTI permit, and to designate an entirely new team to undertake a complete review of the WTI/RCRA situation."
Oct 5, 1992WASHINGTON, DC -- Associate Administrator Lew Crampton, self-described "people's advocate" assigned to act as "community liaison" between the U.S. EPA and citizens concerned about WTI, leaves U.S. EPA to work for Waste Management, Inc.
Oct 1, 1992CHICAGO, IL -- U.S. EPA Press Release: "WTI May accept hazardous waste and begin shakedown; EPA begins 30 day comment period on proposed approval of WTI permit modification." "EPA is seeking public comment on its legal determination on issues of ownership and operational control." "After a two-month review of information on WTI's ownership and operational control, EPA has determined that a minor, or Class I, modification is appropriate to name Von Roll (Ohio), Inc., as an operator of the facility. WTI has requested a Class I modification to reflect this change. The Agency further decided that the permit correctly identifies WTI as the owner and an operator of the facility. EPA Region V fully consulted EPA Headquarters on this legal matter and the decision was made jointly."
Sep 25, 1992CHICAGO, IL -- U.S. EPA Region V Administrator Valdas Adamkus writes to WTI President Blake Marshall, saying: "In addition, the U.S. EPA will inform WTI of its decision on the owner/operator issue no later than Oct 1, 1992. U.S. EPA Region V will be making this decision in full consultation with U.S. EPA Headquarters and U.S. EPA's Office of General Counsel. Until this issue is resolved, WTI may not accept hazardous waste onsite."
Sep 30, 1992 U.S. EPA Region 5 Administrator Valdas Adamkus writes to WTI President Blake Marshall, saying, "U.S. EPA has concluded that there has been no change in ownership for the purposes of the Resource Conservation and Recovery act ("RCRA") which would require modification of the WTI permit." However, we do believe that there has been a change in operational control and that Von Roll (Ohio), Inc. ("VRO") is now an operator of the Facility." Just three weeks earlier, on Sep 8, 1992, the U.S. EPA had determined that Von Roll America, Inc. should be added to the WTI permit as an owner.
Sep 18, 1992EAST LIVERPOOL -- Sale of public Port Authority property to WTI consummated. The land on which WTI is built was purchased by the State under eminent domain using taxpayers money to develop a port for public use has been sold to a private, for-profit Swiss Corporation.
Sep 8, 1992CHICAGO, IL -- U.S. EPA Region 5 Counsel Nancy Ellen Zusman, in a Sep 8 letter to WTI Attorney Chuck Waterman, wrote,
"U.S. EPA has reviewed WTI's response to the initial Jul 7, 1992, Section 3007 Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Request for Information and the additional information requested on Aug 5, 1992. As a result of U.S. EPA's review, U.S. EPA requests that your client submit a formal Class 1 modification request to list on the Facility permit ... Von Roll America, Inc. as an owner of the Facility."
"U.S. EPA believes that with these modifications, the WTI permit will accurately reflect the ownership status and operational control of the Facility, as required by federal regulations, and will assure maximum accountability in the operation of the Facility."
Sep 1, 1992CHARLESTON, WV -- Hearing on a request by the State of West Virginia for a preliminary injunction to block WTI operation. EPA/WTI agree to delay acceptance of waste at WTI and commencement of "shakedown" activities until mid-Oct under an agreement worked out during a hearing. The nine remaining strikers end 43-day hunger strike.
Aug 31, 1992EAST LIVERPOOL -- Criminal trespass charges against seven opponents who took over the Ohio EPA headquarters offices are dropped by the State of Ohio after protesters refused to accept a settlement with the EPA to avoid trial.
Aug 24, 1992CHICAGO, IL -- U.S. EPA Regional Counsel Nancy Ellen Zusman wrote to Paula Cotter in the Ohio Attorney General's Office formally requesting "... Ohio's analysis of the change of ownership and partnership status for Waste Technologies Industries ("WTI")."
" ... U.S. EPA is also examining these issues, but is uncomfortable interpreting state law."
"Both U.S. EPA and Ohio are under a lot of pressure to come up with an analysis as quickly as possible ..."
"... the sooner you could give me some kind of preliminary analysis, the better off I would feel with U.S. EPA making its own analysis."
Ms. Zusman knew that Law Clerk Ignacio Arrazola had analyzed Ohio partnership law at her request four days earlier, and that decisions concerning the WTI permit had already been predetermined as outlined in the Aug 21, 1992 secret memo.
Aug 28, 1992CHARLESTON, WV -- West Virginia attorney general files for a temporary restraining order to block WTI from conducting trial burns; 17 of 25 citizens end 39-day hunger strike; nine citizens continue hunger strike.
Aug 21, 1992CHICAGO, IL -- Secret memorandum by U.S. EPA Regional Counsel Nancy Ellen Zusman --
"serves to memorialize the schedule of items to be accomplished in relation to the Waste Technologies Industries ("WTI") hazardous waste incinerator in East Liverpool, Ohio, which was discussed in a briefing of the Regional Administrator on Aug 20, 1992"
"It was agreed that the following activities would take place .." preceded a sixteen point list and timetable, including, "The real estate transaction between the Columbiana County Port Authority and WTI/Von Roll will be consummated, clearing up the property owner problem. (mid-Sep)" "The permit will be modified to correct the owner/operator issue. (Jan-Feb 1993)" and ending in Feb 1993 when "WTI will be allowed to bring hazardous waste onsite. (Feb. 1993)". This memo shows the decision to allow the incinerator to move forward had been made before the completion of the ownership investigation. The final submittals in response to the U.S. EPA's 3007 request for ownership information were not even turned in until Sep 30, 1992.
Aug 20, 1992CHICAGO, IL -- Draft Memorandum prepared for U.S. EPA Region 5 Counsel Nancy Ellen Zusman by Law Clerk Ignacio Arrazola. The issue of the memorandum was "Whether there has been an unapproved transfer of the ownership of Waste Technologies Industries for purposes of the RCRA permit" and if so "should the permit be revoked?" This memo discussed Ohio Partnership law and the Ohio Uniform Partnership Law extensively. Mr Arrazola writes: "Good faith legal arguments can be made to either buoy or sink WTI's existing permit. Ultimately, the decision of whether the permit should pass through the legal niceties unscathed is a policy determination."
"The fact that the subsidiaries share the same directors and officers, have no employees, have transferred management control of the facility to Von Roll (Ohio), Inc., and have no assets except their interest in WTI, tends to make a showing that the subsidiaries are merely 'instrumentalities' of Von Roll America, Inc. The partnership is thus reduced to a single partner, Von Roll America, Inc. and it may be maintained that the partnership is therefore dissolved."
Aug 11, 1992 EAST LIVERPOOL -- CCPA and WTI signed a real estate purchase contract for $5 million for the sale of CCPA public property, taken by eminent domain, to WTI.
Aug 10, 1992 NEW YORK, NY -- ABC News Nightline covers the WTI conflict.
Aug 4, 1992 COLUMBUS -- Ohio EPA Director Don Schregardus ordered the CCPA to add their name as Co-permittee to the WTI permit. The Ohio EPA press release said: "State Law [Ohio Administrative Code 37455041 (B)] requires property owners to sign the permit application for hazardous waste facilities located on their property. This law was in effect when the WTI permit was in effect in 1984, and the Port Authority should have signed the permit application at that time. Schregardus said that unless the Port Authority submits the permit application within thirty days, he will have to take enforcement action to force them to comply. The addition of the Port Authority will be considered a modification to the WTI hazardous waste permit, and will therefore be sent to the Ohio Hazardous Waste Facility Board for review."
Aug 2, 1992EAST LIVERPOOL -- Vice President Quayle visits Columbiana County to collect campaign funds.
Aug 1, 1992EAST LIVERPOOL -- CCPA announces it wants to sell the land taken by eminent domain and paid with state tax dollars to WTI.
Jul 24, 1992WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. EPA Environmental appeals board denies appeals on spray dryer approval but overturns EPA Region 5's decision of Feb 3, 1992 to arbitrarily add the CCPA to the WTI permit.
Jul 23, 1992CHICAGO, IL -- WTI Attorney Charles Waterman's letter to Nancy Ellen Zusman responds to U.S. EPA's 3007 ownership information request.
EAST LIVERPOOL -- Recording artist Richard Marx visits East Liverpool in support of citizens.
Jul 22, 1992WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. EPA Assistant Administrator Don R. Clay, in a summary of WTI issues and communication strategy, made the decision that,
"It is true that the individual partners constituting WTI have changed, but this does not affect the permit status."
This policy decision was sent only to certain assistant and Associate Administrators, Regional Administrators and to the White House. Regardless of changes in ownership, the EPA backed WTI, and no matter what would be revealed during the investigation, the EPA would give WTI the "green light" to proceed. Mr. Clay told EPA Administrators that the WTI permit was valid, despite the agencies public statements that it was still investigating the issues. In the memo, Clay identified ownership of the plant as a major issue. He told EPA Administrators that EPA had determined the permit should remain unchanged, even though the EPA didn't receive all of the ownership information until Sep 80, 1992.
Clay wrote,
"The incinerator permit was issued to the overall WTI corporation, which we believe has remained unchanged since the permit was issued. It is true that the individual partners constituting WTI have changed, but this does not affect the permit status."
This shows predetermination by the EPA.
Jul 20, 1992WASHINGTON, DC -- Meeting set up jointly by concerned citizens and EPA officials at EPA headquarters for EPA to present answers to all the public's key questions related to the validity of WTI's permit. At the meeting, top EPA officials, including Associate Administrator Lew Crampton, said they did not have answers to even the most basic questions regarding the real identity of the owner and the operator, and whether the permit is actually valid. EPA officials refused to certify either that the permit is valid or that the permit will be revoked because of invalidity. EPA officials said they lacked sufficient information to sign either certification. Citizens then asked that EPA not allow waste on site or startup until EPA can determine whether or not the permit was valid. When, after meeting with EPA officials for six hours, the citizens said that they would not leave EPA's premises until EPA signed a document certifying to one of the requested choices, EPA had all citizens participants arrested and thrown in jail. Six of the twelve citizens arrested begin a hunger strike.
Jul 19, 1992WEIRTON, WV -- WTI statements by candidates Clinton and Gore on the first leg of their Presidential campaign bus tour following the Democratic Convention.
Jul 16, 1992 EAST LIVERPOOL -- U.S. EPA's Lew Crampton meets with leaders of eleven different area citizen organizations who present him with documentation of WTI's illegalities.
Jul 15, 1992WASHINGTON, DC -- EPA's Inspector General issues report requested by Congressman Harley Staggers (D-WV). Report finds that neither the state or federal EPA followed proper permitting procedures and raises questions about ownership changes.
Jul 10, 1992 WASHINGTON, DC -- Fifty citizens from the Ohio Valley protest U.S. EPA's decision to illegally grant WTI a 180-day temporary authorization to burn wastes. Twelve entered and occupied the office of U.S. EPA Administrator William Reilly. Associate Administrator Lew Crampton was assigned to handle all discussions and negotiations with the citizens, who refused to leave until EPA's temporary authorization was revoked or delayed. By the end of the day, Lew Crampton was assigned to be "community liaison for the concerned citizens. Mr. Crampton described himself as the peoples "advocate". It was agreed at that meeting that there would be a ten day stay of the temporary authorization, and that Mr. Crampton would visit the WTI site on Jul 16.
Jul 9, 1992CHICAGO, IL -- After company officials hold a private meeting with Vice President Quayle's Council on Competitiveness regarding "regulatory delays", the U.S. EPA, while still trying to find out who owns and who will operate WTI, illegally grants WTI a temporary authorization to proceed with the shakedown.
Jul 7, 1992CHICAGO, IL -- U.S. EPA Region 5 formal information request inquiring into the identification of the corporate partners of WTI (Section 3007, RCRA).
Jun 17, 1992PITTSBURGH, PA -- The City of Pittsburgh joins the State of West Virginia's lawsuit to block WTI.
Jun 12, 1992CHICAGO, IL -- U.S. EPA informs WTI's attorney that the Sep 21, 1990 operating contract evidences a change in operational control and that WTI should have notified the Agency within 90 days of the change.
Jun 10, 1992 WASHINGTON, DC -- Proponents meet at the White House with Vice President Quayle's Competitiveness Council, and with representatives from the White House Office of Management and Budget, the President's Council of Economic Advisors, the White House's Domestic Policy Office, and a deputy assistant administrator of EPA.
May 21, 1992WASHINGTON, DC -- Von Roll President Blake Marshall writes Vice President Quayle, saying, among other things, "The valid permits to construct we once had are now invalid" in contrast to Von Roll's Feb 24, 1992 statement that all permits are valid.
"To move forward we must have a 180-day temporary authorization permit from U.S. EPA ...."
May 20, 1992 WASHINGTON, DC -- Ohio Senator Howard Metzenbaum introduces an amendment prohibiting WTI from burning hazardous waste until court and administrative appeals have been fully resolved.
May 17, 1992 EAST LIVERPOOL -- March and rally; keynote is Dr. Peter Montague.
May 7, 1992WASHINGTON, DC -- Congressional hearing on regulatory process related to WTI permitting. EPA's Hugh Kaufman puts on record Sept. 21, 1990 operating contract showing management control by Von Roll (Ohio), Inc. U.S. EPA admits violating federal law by issuing a permit without CCPA listed as facility owner, and modifying the permit without public comment. The hearing is covered by ABC World News Tonight and the New York Times.
May 1, 1992RICHMOND, VA -- Letter from Dr. Michael McCawley, Professor of Air Pollution Control at West Virginia University, responds to Regional Administrator Val Adamkus' Apr 2, 1992 letter concerning WTI site meteorology, saying,
"[I]t seems puzzling that you are not aware that well documented evidence exists of the incidence of extreme stagnation conditions throughout this portion of the eastern United States. Korshover cites evidence of stagnations occurring approximately 220 times over the thirty year period from 19361965 for this area" (U.S. Public Health Service Publication 999AP34, 1967).
"This area of the country provides the textbook example of air stagnation problems. Are you aware of the proximity of the town of Donora, Pennsylvania to the WTI site? Certainly you are aware that in Donora in 1948 it was a stagnation condition that lasted for approximately one week that was the purported cause of some 20 deaths attributed to the build up of air pollutants. It was this air pollution incident in Donora that led to the heightened awareness of air pollution problems and ultimately the creation of your agency."
"Donora, Pennsylvania is located 45 miles, as the pollution blows From East Liverpool, Ohio, the WTI site. I do not believe the weather changes much over that small a distance. Incidentally, the Ohio river goes through a slight horseshoe bend above and below the WTI site as does the Monongahela as it flows through Donora. The hillsides rise approximately 300 feet above the river at the WTI site as do the hills surrounding Donora. Finally the stack heights at the mills in Donora did not rise above the valley walls and the same is true for the WTI stack."
"It is unclear to me what basis you or the state of Ohio used to conclude that stagnations were not a concern at this location."
Apr 21, 1992CHARLESTON, WV -- West Virginia Attorney General Mario Palumbo sues to revoke WTI permits based on violations of federal law and nuisance.
EAST LIVERPOOL -- Former California Governor and presidential candidate Jerry Brown visits East Liverpool to support citizens.
Apr 2, 1992CHICAGO, IL -- In a letter regarding the air modeling used for WTI, and the issue of site meteorology with respect to air inversions and stagnation conditions, Region V administrator Valdas Adamkus writes, "Stagnation conditions are rare events occurring in few locations and are not expected to occur in the area of WTI."
Mar 24, 1992COLUMBUS -- Children take mice to Ohio Governor George Voinovich to protest state health study.
Mar 19, 1992WASHINGTON, DC -- Congressman Harley Staggers of West Virginia requests that the U.S. EPA office of the Inspector General review the EPA's permitting process for WTI, the effects of atmospheric inversions on air quality, ownership and financial assurance issues and the technology used by WTI.
Mar 13, 1992CHICAGO, IL -- On Jul 9, 1992, in a "Dear Interested Party" letter, Mr. Bill Muno informed the public that on Mar 13, 1992, WTI made a request to the U.S. EPA for temporary authorization to operate the incinerator for a period of 180 days. The request for temporary authorization included operation of the spray dryer which did not have an effective Federal permit under RCRA.
Mar 3, 1992CHICAGO, IL -- CCPA, the State of West Virginia, the City of Pittsburgh and others appeal EPA's Feb 3, 1992 decision, to add the CCPA to the WTI permit as Co-Permittee. They request a review of Region V's decision. West Virginia and Pittsburgh also appeal approval of spray dryer change.
Mar 5, 1992COLUMBUS -- 'Bed' action in front of Ohio State House.
Mar, 1992WASHINGTON, DC -- National Governor's Association, in conjunction with the U.S. EPA issues report, Hazardous Waste Management In The States: A Review of the Capacity Assurance Process, which indicates that there is a 70% over capacity nationally for the disposal of hazardous waste.
Feb 27, 1992 CHICAGO -- Note to Misty Parsons Ohio EPA from John Gaitskill, U.S. EPA: "[E]mission limits in chapter 18 apply. It appears the scrubber must maintain at least 96.7% removal efficiency to prevent >250 T/Yr SO2. RCRA documents say 98.8% control will be achieved, but the European examples say < 90%."
Paul Christowsky expert witness testifying under oath on behalf of WTI in Oct. 1992 said that best achievable removal efficiency for the scrubber would be 80% to 90%.)
Feb 15, 1992EAST LIVERPOOL -- Pete Seeger celebration concert/fundraiser.
Feb 14, 1992EAST LIVERPOOL -- Conclusion of a four day jury trial 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 13, 1991. 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.
Feb 3, 1992CHICAGO, IL -- U.S. EPA issues RCRA permit (including approval for a spray dryer) to WTI and Columbiana County Port Authority over CCPA's objections.
Feb 1, 1992CANTON, NY -- "Who owns WTI? How close is WTI to BCCI?," Waste Not, Feb, 1992.
Feb, 1992WASHINGTON, DC -- EPA preliminary reassessment of dioxin. Findings indicate:
  • Current exposure levels to dioxins appear to place people at or near body burden where sensitive responses such as reproductive, behavioral and immune system effects occur.
  • Dioxin does cause cancer in humans.
  • Cancer may not be the most sensitive toxic response resulting from dioxin exposure.
  • Immunotoxicity and reproductive effects appear to occur at body burdens that are approximately 100 times lower than those associated with cancer.
  • There may not be a threshold for certain responses to dioxin.
  • Sensitivity to humans is similar to that of experimental animals.
  • Dioxin exposure may have been responsible for the decline of Lake Trout in Lake Ontario as a result of reproductive toxicity of dioxin.
Jan 30, 1992EAST LIVERPOOL -- J. Michael Kapp, Attorney for the CCPA responds to U.S. EPA letter of Dec 20, 1991 notifying the U.S. EPA that the CCPA did not wish to be named as Co-permittee.
Jan 30, 1992EAST LIVERPOOL -- Citizens reveal transfer of WTI ownership.
Jan 20, 1992WASHINGTON, DC -- Von Roll President Blake Marshall writes Associate Director office of Cabinet Affairs, James Fitzhenry, The White House, saying, among other things: "As discussed last week, we would appreciate whatever assistance you can provide in dealing with the EPA staff. In particular, we would encourage: 1. Serious consideration by Region V of a 180 day temporary authorization to operate the spray dryer, as provided for in 40 CFR 270.42 (e) (a detailed request for such authorization has been submitted to Region V); 2. No rejection by Region V of the class 1 permit change for the evaporative quench operation (which has been requested by WTI); and 3. Prompt review by Director Reilly's office of any administrative appeals of the spray dryer approval when it is finally issued by Region V. We want to resolve this matter amicably, we would rather work with U.S. EPA cooperatively, but we are facing extinction as a consequence of Region V's inexplicable posture. Because Ohio has mandated the spray dryer technology, we cannot return to the original, permitted design. Because Region V will not allow us to build and operate the spray dryer, we cannot implement the state's mandate. We cannot go forward, we cannot go back. We need your help."
Jan 9, 1992EAST LIVERPOOL -- After having been warned numerous times by U.S. EPA, WTI proceeds with unauthorized construction and installation of spray dryer equipment. Fined $129,000 by U.S. EPA.