The WTI hazardous waste incinerator in East Liverpool is a danger to public health and the environment, should never have been allowed to open, and should not be allowed to continue to operate. The reason is clear to anyone who has seen three photos of the facility.
Nov 20, 2009: Pink plume was iodine, nothing hazardous
EAST LIVERPOOL -- "Officials from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency met Thursday with the city's board of health, fielding questions from citizens concerned about a pink plume emitted in June from the stack at Heritage-WTI. The pink tinge in the plume was the result of iodine in the vapor being discharged from the hazardous waste incinerator during a power outage on June 9... At yesterday's meeting, EPA representatives reiterated there was no health risk associated with the release of iodine into the air that day, saying the level at which an average person - including those with a sensitivity to the element - could be exposed with no effect has been shown to be 1,000 micrograms per cubic meter," Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, East Liverpool Review.
Oct 19, 2009: Health Board seeks answers from Ohio EPA
EAST LIVERPOOL -- "Several East Liverpool Health District board members voiced strong concerns about an Ohio Environmental Protection Agency letter and the state agency's speed in answering those concerns. The Ohio EPA sent health district Commissioner Gary Ryan a letter dated Aug. 19 addressing an inquiry into the June 9 power outage at the Heritage-WTI facility in the East End of East Liverpool. As a result of the power outage, a vapor recover system went down, and a pink plume rose from the stack. Iodine was present in the kiln at the time of the outage... 'It is really, really, really upsetting that these people are saying here that studies have been done, and the studies say there are no risks from iodine,' board member Marty Schuffert said. 'If the study has been done, for them to have to go back and work on it and take all this time to find it, it is absolutely moronic and ridiculous,'" Michael McElwain, East Liverpool Review. Published October 18.
|Aug 27, 2009: New round of EPA air quality testing begins|
EAST LIVERPOOL -- "Equipment was put in place Wednesday morning as the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) begins a study of the air quality in and around East Elementary School... Several East End residents, Mayor Jim Swoger and health district Commissioner Gary Ryan attended Wednesday morning's presentation in East Liverpool. Residents Alonzo Spencer, Virgil Reynolds and Sandy Estell asked about air quality issues and the state's role in helping to protect the residents. Reynolds noted the air monitor would not measure the air quality for West Virginia and Pennsylvania residents. Spencer asked for specific data concerning older air quality samples and any impact it might have on the community. Estell quizzed the two about announcing specific monitoring dates and alerting nearby industries," Michael D McElwain, East Liverpool Review.
Apr 22, 2009: WTI officials, foes meet during hearing
EAST LIVERPOOL -- "An informational hearing for a Heritage-WTI permit modification brought together company leaders and long-time opponents. The plan is to modify the hazardous-waste permit so Heritage-WTI can store containers in specific areas and buildings not currently permitted for storing containers, to extend the permitted storage time from one year to 18 months for material received during a maintenance outage and to increase the overall storage capacity for containers," Michael D. McElwain, East Liverpool Review.
Apr 1, 2009: U.S. to test air quality near schools
COLUMBUS -- "La Croft Elementary School tops Alonzo Spencer's list of air-pollution worries in East Liverpool. Built on a hillside in the Ohio River town, the school has a playground that is roughly level with the top of the smokestack at the nearby Heritage-WTI hazardous-waste incinerator. 'Why would you put a facility of this nature this close to a school?' said Spencer, an environmental activist and longtime opponent of the incinerator. Today, Spencer was happy to learn that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to place pollution monitors at La Croft and six other Ohio schools to see whether nearby industries threaten students' health... Melissa English, a campaign coordinator with Ohio Citizen Action, said Marietta residents face pollution from other factories besides Eramet. 'It's good to have someone looking at something besides the manganese,' English said," Spencer Hunt, Columbus Dispatch.
STEUBENVILLE -- EPA to monitor air quality near 3 local schools , WTOV.
|Nov 7, 2008: Alonzo Spencer Receives First Environmental Justice Award at 78th Annual NAACP State Convention
SANDUSKY -- "The Ohio Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) presented Alonzo Spencer, the chairman of Center for Health Environment & Justice's Board of Directors, with its first Environmental Justice Award at its 78th Annual State Convention on October 4th. Alonzo was recognized for his role in a long campaign for environmental justice in East Liverpool, Ohio. The Ohio Conference NAACP plans to make this an annual award and has declared that it will henceforth be known as the Alonzo Spencer Environmental Justice Award, in Alonzo's honor. He was also featured prominently in a 2007 book Toxic Burn: The Grassroots Struggle Against the WTI Incinerator by Thomas Shevory," Center for Health Environment & Justice Bulletin.
Alonzo was also the first recipient of the Ohio Citizen Action Howard M Metzenbaum Award in 1995.
EAST LIVERPOOL -- "The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has ruled that Von Roll may now receive, manage and incinerate waste not previously taken at its hazardous waste incinerator... According to a press release from the OEPA, the permit modification allows the facility to receive and manage mixed infectious and hazardous waste at its 1250 St. George St. plant in East Liverpool. Typical wastes could include vaccines containing mercury; sharps containing chemotherapy drugs; growth plates and Petri dishes containing hazardous components; and tissue and organs from small lab animals preserved in ethanol or formaldehyde," Michael McElwain, East Liverpool Review.
|Jun 26, 2007: VonRoll/WTI requests EPA permit modifications
EAST LIVERPOOL -- "VonRoll America has requested two permit modifications from the Ohio EPA to allow the company to reduce emergency equipment and accept two compressed gases. VonRoll issued a notice on June 22 of the two requests. The company says the reduction in emergency equipment would not increase any risks during an incident such as the explosion last week, according to WTI public relations specialist Raymond Wayne. Full-face respirators and self-contained breathing apparatus (SBCA) were two types of safety equipment used last week after a reaction in a waste storage tank caused an explosion in a rotary kiln," Rebekah Potter, The East Liverpool Review.
|Jun 20, 2007: Explosion under investigation, Operations suspended at Von Roll WTI
EAST LIVERPOOL -- "An explosion at the Von Roll WTI plant in the city’s East End has caused a suspension in operations until an investigation and repairs are complete. According to Raymond J. Wayne, public relations specialist at WTI, the explosion occurred just before 2 p.m. on Tuesday in the vapor-recovery system... One employee was taken by ambulance to East Liverpool City Hospital for evaluation and treatment. Wayne did not release the name of the employee but stated, 'The extent of the injury is believed to be minor,'" Rebekah Potter and Michael McElwain, The Review.
|Feb 22, 2007: WTI permit change draws opposition
EAST LIVERPOOL -- "Five city residents testified in opposition to a permit modification that would allow Von Roll/WTI to accept mixed infectious and hazardous wastes. 'You will be putting the final nail in East Liverpool’s coffin by granting this permit modification... I’m sure you are going to give it to them anyway,' said Sandy Estell, whose East End home is 1,100 feet from the hazardous waste incinerator," Fred Miller, The Review.
| Dec 6, 2006: U.S. EPA fines WTI|
EAST LIVERPOOL -- "WTI/Von Roll officials call it a 'legacy issue' going back to 1999, and said they agreed to a $750,000 fine from the U.S. EPA and U.S. Justice Department so they could put the matter behind them. Longtime WTI opponent Alonzo Spencer said the amount of the fine and length of noncompliance with Clean Air Act and RCRA standards 'convinces us beyond any doubt that that plant should be shut down. WTI can no longer be trusted to run a safe facility,'" Fred Miller, East Liverpool Review.
| Dec 5:
River towns cope with pollution
Worries about jobs and hazards collide
EAST LIVERPOOL-- "With river regulations divided among three federal regions and several state agencies in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia, some residents worry that officials aren't doing all they can to protect them from potential health hazards. The air outside Alonzo Spencer's house in East Liverpool, Ohio, once smelled like cat urine. He said he believes the hazardous waste incinerator at the bottom of the hill is a health hazard. Spencer said that he fears that an explosion at the Von Roll WTI incinerator -- about 50 miles north of Wheeling, W. Va. -- could release toxic gases into homes and schools. 'When it happens -- and it will -- people will ask me what I did to prevent it,' he said. 'I will say, 'Everything I could,'" Louisville Courier-Journal.
| Aug 11: Blast Injures Worker at WTI Plant
PITTSBURGH -- "An explosion at the Waste Technologies Industries (WTI) plant in East Liverpool, Ohio this afternoon has sent a worker to a hospital here in Pittsburgh. WTI is a commercial hazardous waste incinerator. According to WTI spokesperson Raymond Wayne, a single drum exploded as workers put it into an incinerator after 1pm -- blowing a hole through the wall of the building. The blast actually blew siding, insulation and other debris outside the plant, injuring injured a worker who was outside at the time. Authorities have not released the worker's name or condition at this time; but they say he has been flown via medical hospital to a Pittsburgh hospital," KDKA TV.
Mar 29: WTI fireball rattles windows
EAST LIVERPOOL -- "Sandy Estell's house at 1410 Etruria St. is between East Elementary School and WTI. She said she and five family members happened to be in back of their house, on the WTI side, looking for a year-old dog who has a talent for jumping their fence. 'At first you could see some flames, then there was a huge loud explosion and a giant ball of fire shot up in the air. It was huge. I've never seen anything like it before,' said Estell. The fireball was to the right of the kiln, which is the end on which the secondary combustion chamber is located. 'There was smoke everywhere. The plant was kind of lost in the smoke for awhile,' she said. 'My windows rattled. It was huge. The noise was huge. . . I screamed for my kids to get back into the house,'" Fred Miller, East Liverpool Review.
EAST LIVERPOOL -- Middle school site by WTI questioned "A question caused the city school board to hold up on its expected approval for the new Option 7 building plan as expected Monday. 'You can't build a hazardous waste facility within 2,000 feet of a school. Can you build a school within 2,000 feet of a hazardous waste facility?' asked Alonzo Spencer, referring to the construction of a new middle school proposed on the current site of East Elementary. He said the Ohio legislature voted a moratorium on new hazardous waste incinerators as a result of the WTI controversy. While some board members argued for delaying a vote on the project until the WTI question is answered, Brian Farnsworth clearly was not happy about the delay. 'I'm still not clear on what the problem is,' said Farnsworth at Monday's school board meeting. 'Two hundred feet? Two thousand feet? What law is that?'" Fred Miller, East Liverpool Review.
| Oct 5, 2004: EPA
cites Von Roll for clean-air violations
CHICAGO -- "U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has filed an administrative complaint against Von Roll America Inc. for alleged clean-air violations at the company's commercial hazardous waste incinerator at 1250 St. George St., East Liverpool, Ohio. EPA alleges Von Roll discharged more lead and cadmium from its incinerator than is allowed by the Clean Air Act during tests in December 2003 and in March 2004. The company has fixed the cause of the problem, and in an April 2004 test, emissions from the incinerator complied with the federal standard. Excessive exposure to lead may cause anemia, kidney disease, reproductive disorders, and neurological impairments such as seizures, mental retardation and behavioral disorders. Children and the unborn are especially susceptible to low doses of lead. Exposure to cadmium may cause damage to the lungs, kidneys, liver, immune and nervous systems and the blood. Long-term inhalation of cadmium can increase the risk of lung cancer," press release, US EPA .
Feb 5, 2004: WTI's legal counsel advises reps to say nothing while death is investigated|
EAST LIVERPOOL -- "Billy Joe Cole, 51, of Perryville, Mo., died on Jan. 26 after he fell into his tanker truck carrying lime slurry, a non-hazardous waste material with many industrial uses. The issue was addressed at the Feb. 2 City Council meeting after Alonzo Spencer, president of Save our County, a local environmental group opposed to WTI's operation, asked if the city was going to follow up on the incident. The incident occurred shortly after 2 p.m., but no city or safety officials were notified until after 4 p.m. after Cole was pronounced dead at City Hospital," Brian DiTullio, East Liverpool Review.
Feb 3, 2004: Save Our County calls for hearing on driver death at WTI|
EAST LIVERPOOL -- "The head of a local environmental group called Monday night for City Council to conduct a full hearing on an accident at the VonRoll/WTI hazardous waste incinerator last week in which a truck driver was killed. Save Our County President Alonzo Spencer asked the environmental committee, which he said was formed several years ago specifically to monitor WTI, to meet with top management of the company to determine what happened and whether such an accident can be prevented in the future. A truck driver, whom the company has not yet identified, was found in the bottom of his tanker truck that contained lime slurry, a non-hazardous material. He later died at East Liverpool City Hospital, and company officials said the Occupational Safety Health Administration is investigating the matter. Spencer said news accounts of the accident indicated proper protocol was not followed in regard to the accident and said the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has advised him it will not be conducting an investigation," Jo Ann Bobby Gilbert, Columbiana County Morning Journal.
EAST LIVERPOOL -- City Council will look into death at WTI, Brian DiTullio, East Liverpool Review.
Jan 27, 2004: Trucker found in tanker, dies|
EAST LIVERPOOL -- "Assistant Chief Gary Cornell said the fire department is normally called to incidents at the hazardous waste incinerator and said, 'There was some sort of mixup there; we’re just getting the information.' City police also had no record of being notified of the incident, according to a dispatcher," Jo Ann Bobby Gilbert, Columbiana County Morning Journal.
Jan 26, 2004: Truck driver dies inside tanker at WTI; Second employee hospitalized after rescue attempt|
EAST LIVERPOOL -- "A truck driver taken to East Liverpool City Hospital after he was retrieved from inside his tanker truck has died. While unloading a tanker truck containing lime slurry, a WTI employee found the truck driver in the bottom of the tank, which still had some slurry inside. According to WTI, all employees in the area responded to the call for help, and together they removed the driver from the tank, gave him first aid and put him in an ambulance. The employee who went into the tank to try to rescue the driver was taken to the hospital in a second ambulance for treatment," WTOV TV-9 Steubenville.
Jun 24, 2003: State EPA missing two years of pollution data|
Former staff member failed to collect samples
EAST LIVERPOOL -- "'Accurate air monitoring is the only way to ensure that Von Roll/WTI is not exceeding emission limits,' said Terri Swearingen of the Tri-State Environmental Council. 'And now we have reason to believe there have been problems since the Ohio EPA took over monitoring in 1998.... How can the Ohio EPA say that Von Roll/WTI poses no risk? How can we trust anything the EPA says?' Alonzo Spencer of East Liverpool's Save Our County, a grass-roots group fighting the incinerator, called for the 10-year-old, $160 million facility to be shut down until a criminal investigation is conducted by an independent, outside source," Bob Downing, Akron Beacon Journal.
Jun 21, 2003: Report: Air pollution samples near incinerator missing|
EAST LIVERPOOL -- "'They've been telling us for years that this is the most heavily monitored and scrutinized facility in the country,' said Teresa Mills, director of the Buckeye Environmental Network, an advocacy group. 'Where's the proof?'. . . An EPA investigation found that its employee Christine D'Amico, who was responsible for the pollution monitors in Columbiana County, failed to properly maintain the monitors and regularly collect the results. Supervisors began sending D'Amico e-mails last summer asking why she hadn't submitted any samples for the year. D'Amico replied that she was behind in processing the samples. She resigned June 13," Associated Press.
Jun 20, 2003: Clearing the air|
EAST LIVERPOOL -- "Misleading statements by local critics and a flawed newspaper story have generated confusion and false perceptions about our facility and the monitoring of local ambient air quality by environmental regulators," media advisory, Fred Sigg, Von Roll WTI incinerator.
Jun 19, 2003: Ohio EPA report reveals 2002 falsification of air monitoring data at Von Roll WTI
EAST LIVERPOOL -- -- "During a November 2002 inspection, Ohio EPA auditor John Barnhart found that the air monitors at the Von Roll/WTI incinerator, intended to collect information on emissions such as toxic heavy metals and particulates that contribute to lung problems, didn't contain filters required to capture samples. In addition, 'the probe for the SO2 [sulfur dioxide] monitor had been found lying in the dirt and gravel.' . . . Alonzo Spencer of Save Our County said, 'I think this rises to the level where a criminal investigation must be conducted. There should be no more stalling by the Ohio EPA or the Ohio Attorney General. This incinerator must be shut down now until a full investigation is conducted, reviewed and made public,'" release, Teresa Mills, Buckeye Environmental Network; Terri Swearingen, Tri-State Environmental Council; Alonzo Spencer, Save Our County.
Jun 16, 2003: Air quality data lacking, but EPA says no danger|
LISBON -- "The seven monitors run constantly for six days and automatically shut down. A technician is then supposed to change the filters and turn the machines back on to begin recording the results. However, Madigan said the technician was not diligent — maintaining some of the monitors some of the time, but not all of them all of the time. A personnel investigation was launched by the EPA and the technician resigned from her position Friday. Madigan said the employee was reassigned in November when it was discovered through quality checks that there was no data available," Kristy Foster, East Liverpool Review.
|PITTSBURGH, PA -- "In February 2002, [Donna] Trueblood told the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency that her employer, VonRoll America, was accepting hazardous wastes it was not permitted to incinerate and storing drums of chemical waste on a parking lot at the adjacent Heritage Environmental Services, a separate waste transfer facility that has an ownership interest in the incinerator. VonRoll fired Trueblood in October 2002 for, it said, exceeding her sick day limit. But federal Administrative Law Judge Richard Morgan ruled last week that she was unlawfully terminated for blowing the whistle on those illegal waste handling practices. . . .Richard Renner, Trueblood's attorney, said he contacted the company last Friday about her reinstatement but has had no response. He said provisions of the federal Energy Reorganization Act require that Trueblood be reinstated and given back pay even though the appeal is pending. 'She can't wait forever. She's about to lose her home in East Liverpool and she's flat run out of money,' Renner said. 'She's really suffered for taking the stand that she did,'" Don Hopey, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.|
March 29, 2003: Whistleblower at WTI hazardous incinerator wins reinstatement, full back payPITTSBURGH, PA -- On March 26, U.S. Department of Labor Administrative Law Judge Richard A. Morgan ordered the owners of the Waste Technologies Industries hazardouse waste incinerator in East Liverpool to reinstate whistleblower Donna Trueblood with full back pay. Judge Morgan found VonRoll managers participated in discrimination against Trueblood for her whistleblowing, and then "attempted to cover it up . . . by straying from the truth." VonRoll "brick-by-brick, built a record upon which to eventually base her unlawful termination."
Aug 9, 2002:
Von Roll puts up bail for
ZURICH -- "The Von Roll manager is accused of involvement
in at least one serious bribery case. Von Roll has always maintained that
there is no connection between Lüthy's detention and the group but that
the case was obviously related to the bribery scandal involving the Stadtwerke
of Bonn (public supplier of energy) and the ABB group. Several scandals
have been successively uncovered since 1998, involving, among others, Swiss
companies. It is alleged that money transfers from German companies have
been put into hidden accounts and channeled back to Germany as bribes,"
Neue Zürcher Zeitung AG (Zurich).
Jul 28, 2002: CEO of Swiss firm Von Roll in German jailZURICH -- "[Von Roll] said Luethy had been accused of acting as an intermediary for transferring money between the German unit of Swiss engineering firm ABB and a municipal official in Bonn between 1996 and 1998 for confidential information concerning a proposed gas fired power station," Reuters.
|BONN/ZURICH -- "René Lüthy, Chief Executive of the Von-Roll Group, and Fritz Bangerter, former head of the Von-Roll branch office in Germany are much more deeply involved in the Bonn bribery scandal than was heretofore known: 'We are conducting an investigation against Messrs. Bangerter and Lüthy for aiding and abetting aggravated bribery,' confirmed Fred Apostel, spokesman of the Bonn District Attorney's Office, on Friday for the first time," Andreas Flütsch, SonntagsZeitung (Zurich).|
Oct 2, 2001: U.S. EPA refuses to block incinerator permitsEAST LIVERPOOL -- "The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has rejected a request to hold all pollution permits that Von Roll America is seeking for its hazardous-waste incinerator on the Ohio River," Akron Beacon Journal.
Apr 15, 2001: Former air-quality official sentencedCINCINNATI -- "[Vincent] Zumpano, 66, of Mingo Junction, was sentenced to 15 months in prison, an $8,000 fine and two years' probation; Patsy DeLuca, 66, of Steubenville, was sentenced to four months in prison, four months in home confinement, a $10,000 fine and two years' probation; Ronald DeLuca, 37, of Athens, was sentenced to six months of home confinement as part of his three years of probation and fined $10,000. ," Associated Press.
|Oct 23, 2000: AKRON -- "Vice President Gore: If you want a WTI shutdown, make it happen," Jennifer O'Donnell letter to Vice President Al Gore, Ohio Citizen Action. O'Donnell asks Gore whether "You want us to believe the ridiculous notion that, as the Administration’s voice and leader on environmental policy, you want the plant shut down and the U.S. EPA is defying you and getting away with it."|
|Oct 22, 2000: EAST LIVERPOOL -- "WTI under fire; Ombudsman suggests halting operations at facility for at least six months, another trial burn," Cheryl Johns, East Liverpool Review. "[EPA Assistant Administrator Timothy Fields Jr. said] 'As new information becomes available, EPA will take all steps to protect the public's health, including an order to cease operations if necessary.'"|
|Oct 22, 2000: PITTSBURGH, PA -- "Report urges shutdown,
tests for WTI incinerator," Don Hopey, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
"EPA has promised to decide within two weeks whether to follow the
recommendations of its ombudsman....Gore campaign officials said yesterday
that the preliminary report was the culmination of Gore's work on this issue
for eight years."
|Oct 22, 2000: EAST LANSING, MI -- "EPA official urges shutdown of Ohio incinerator," Michael Hawthorne, Columbus Dispatch. "Kathleen McGinty, Gore's top environmental adviser and former director of the White House Office of Environmental Quality, told the ombudsman that the EPA never mentioned the testing irregularities to her while she worked in the Clinton administration. 'It is our understanding that the report uncovered irregularities in how WTI did or did not use its environmental-monitoring system,' McGinty said yesterday at the Society of Environmental Journalists' convention in East Lansing, Mich. 'We fully support the recommendation that the incinerator cease operating until new tests can be done,'"|
|Oct 22, 2000: WASHINGTON, DC -- "EPA won’t shut incinerator, will monitor air instead," Susan Jaffe, Cleveland Plain Dealer. "A spokesman for Vice President Al Gore said the EPA had not ruled out a shutdown. Gore, who became involved in the issue in 1992, supports a shutdown, his spokesman Jim Kennedy said."|
|Oct 22, 2000: WASHINGTON, DC -- "Agency will test waste facility; But EPA won't follow expert's suggestion to close incinerator," Associated Press. "The EPA will require the new trial burn and amend the risk assessment based on the results, said Timothy Fields Jr., EPA assistant administrator. But instead of closing the incinerator, the EPA will do an air quality test, he said....Vice President Al Gore, through spokesman Jim Kennedy, said ... 'The vice president does believe that the ombudsman's recommendations should be followed. He supports the recommendation that the facility cease operation of the incinerator,' Kennedy said."|
|Oct 21, 2000: WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. EPA National Ombudsman recommends six-month WTI shutdown, new tests. On Oct 20, the U.S. EPA's National Ombudsman recommended that the "EPA and Ohio EPA restrict operations at the WTI facility immediately by: (1) Halting the feeding of waste to the incinerator for a period of no less than six months; (2) Make preparations for a retest of the trial burn or a new trial burn in 2001 as a necessary step in the consideration by Ohio EPA of permit renewal for the facility next year; and (3) With new data from the new trial burn, perform a new Addendum to the risk assessment for the WTI facility."|
|Oct 16, 2000: EAST LIVERPOOL -- "Indiana company plans acquire controlling stake in incinerator," Associated Press. "The deal with Indianapolis-based Heritage Environmental Services LLC is subject to regulatory approval. Financial terms were not released. Heritage Environmental would assume a 51 percent ownership stake in the Columbiana County incinerator, with Switzerland-based Von Roll America holding 49 percent."|
|Oct 5, 2000: EAST LIVERPOOL -- "For some, today was about their messages; Waste incinerator, Mideast protests," Joe Lawlor, Warren Tribune Chronicle. "Alonzo Spencer held up a 'WTI Spells Death' sign, and pointed out that East Elementary School is less than a mile away from the incinerator. Smoke from the incinerator regularly blows into the doors and windows of the school, he said. 'Would Al Gore want to send his kids to East Elementary?' Spencer said. 'They can try to drown us out, but the fact is that we will be at every stop that he's at in this area. If this takes us all the way to the White House, so be it.'"|
|Sep 28, 2000: EAST LIVERPOOL -- "Nader
to Gore: Promises should be kept," Mike McKinney, East Liverpool
Review. "During her comments, [Terri] Swearingen said that she
had met with [Bush Administration EPA Administrator William] Reilly in 1997,
and he had stated then to her that Gore's aide [Katie] McGinty had told
him to 'go ahead and approve the test burn.'"
EAST LIVERPOOL -- "Nader's words resonate in Ohio town; East Liverpool residents like candidate's speech against waste incinerator," Carl Chancellor, Akron Beacon Journal.
EAST LIVERPOOL -- "Nader says Gore broke promise on incinerator," James Drew, Toledo Blade.
CLEVELAND -- "Nader says expectations too low; Green Party nominee for president campaigns at JCU," Joe Frolik, Ebony Reed, Cleveland Plain Dealer.
EAST LIVERPOOL -- "Nader incinerates Gore in East Liverpool visit," Don Hopey, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
EAST LIVERPOOL -- "Environmental candidate brings familiar message to county," Jo Ann Bobby Gilbert, Columbiana County Morning Journal.
|Sep 27, 2000: EAST LIVERPOOL -- "WTI welcomes Nader with a few choice words," Jo Ann Bobby Gilbert, Columbiana County Morning Journal. "[WTI General Manager Fred Sigg] said that Nader may hold the nearby East Elementary as a symbol, saying the only response plan that exists is to shelter students and faculty inside the building. 'He should know that technique is a common response measure called 'shelter-in-place.' According to emergency response experts, it is the most common measure used in the country. Local emergency managers would employ it for students and home occupants as well,' Sigg said. According to Sigg, emergency planners would order shelter-in-place in the case of an accident involving one of the hundreds of railroad tank cars which pass by the school daily carrying anhydrous ammonia, chlorine, and other hazardous substances or if the refinery across the Ohio River had an incident, for example."|
|Sep 25, 2000: EAST LIVERPOOL -- "WTI
concerns raised again," Jo Ann Bobby Gilbert, Columbiana County
Morning Journal. "[Ohio Citizen Action's Jennifer] O'Donnell offered
a rundown of why she believes the facility should be shut down, citing 'numerous
and serious violations' as spelled out in an alleged letter from EPA Director
Christopher Jones to company President Fred Sigg. After O'Donnell chastised
the Ohio EPA for not being in attendance at Saturday's hearing, [U.S. Congressman
James] Traficant said, 'I want to know why they weren't here,' and said
he wants to confer with both the state and federal agencies on the issue."|
EAST LIVERPOOL -- "East Liverpool officials on the spot at EPA hearing," Jo Ann Bobby Gilbert, Columbiana County Morning Journal.
|Sep 23, 2000: EAST LIVERPOOL -- "Initial
Comments on the WTI Hazardous Waste Incinerator," Ashley C. Schannauer,
U.S. EPA Ombudsman Hearing. "The EPA manipulated its standards
for acceptable risk, and its risk assessment guidelines and produced a document
that says the risks posed by the WTI incinerator are acceptable. The risk
assessment reached those conclusions by excluding large numbers of risks
and inventing new standards of how much risk is acceptable. For compounds
that might not pass the conventional standards, the EPA devised new standards
that they could pass."|
EAST LIVERPOOL -- "Testimony," Jennifer O’Donnell, Ohio Citizen Action, U.S. EPA Ombudsman Hearing. "...the terms and the conditions of WTI’s federally-issued permit continue in force until the effective date of the State of Ohio’s renewal or denial of the state-issued RCRA permit for WTI. That means the U.S. EPA has had (and continues to have) the authority to do something about WTI since it began operating eight years ago."
|Sep 21, 2000: BRUNSWICK, ME -- "Gore adviser sees no quick action on creating national nuke dump," Steve Hargreaves, Brunswick Times Record. "Nancy Allen, a Surry resident who is spokeswoman for the national Green Party, said Gore reneged on a 1992 campaign pledge to shut down a hazardous waste incinerator in East Liverpool, Ohio. McGinty said Gore promised to ensure the safety of the incinerator's neighborhood, which includes homes and a school, through a rigorous permitting process. She said he didn't promise to shut down the incinerator. 'It was determined the incinerator did not pose a public health threat,' she said."|
|Sep 19, 2000: WEIRTON, WV -- "Valley of discontent; Steelworkers, environmental activists say they feel betrayed by Clinton, Gore," Joe Frolik, Cleveland Plain Dealer. "Bill Clinton and Al Gore arrived like rock stars on July 19, 1992. 'People were ecstatic,' said Wendy Harrick, who brought her two children to see the Democratic ticket that bright Sunday morning. Eight years later, the reception might be a lot chillier. The head of Weirton's largest union says he would personally "throw him [Gore] out of town." Environmentalists in the area picket Gore every chance they get."|
|Sep 17, 2000: WASHINGTON, DC -- "Local grievances could hurt Gore in Ohio," Jonathan Riskind, Columbus Dispatch. "The WTI issue 'dissipates the energy the vice president should have as a friend of the environment,' [U.S. Congressman Dennis] Kucinich said. 'WTI is a glaring failure in the environmental policy of an administration that has otherwise been progressive.'"|
|Sep 16, 2000: SAN FRANCISCO -- "Activists question Gore's crusade; Waste incinerator he vowed to stop in 1992 is now online near a river and school," Robert Salladay, San Francisco Examiner. "The East Liverpool incinerator continues to dog the vice president through the 2000 election, even after seven years that has included protests outside the White House, an incredulous 60 Minutes piece, a week of scathing Wall Street Journal editorials, Martin Sheen sit-ins, lawsuits and threats of civil disobedience on the eve of the 2000 New Hampshire primary. 'They said that they were going to be on the side of the citizens for a change, and their first step was not to allow this plant to go on line. We're still waiting,' said Alonzo Spencer, 71, a lifelong East Liverpool resident and former steel worker, now one of the leading opponents of the plant."|
|Sep 11, 2000: WASHINGTON, DC -- "Nader wants WTI documents," letter to Vice President Al Gore, Ralph Nader. "Did you formally or informally request that the Bush EPA postpone the approval to conduct a test burn at WTI until you took office? If so, could you please provide me with copies of all memos, letters and/or meeting notes in which you or your staff requested that the Bush EPA not approve or postpone their decision on WTI until your Administration was sworn in?"|
|Aug 28, 2000: AKRON -- "'Al Gore's conscience' speaks out in radio spot," release, Jennifer O'Donnell, Ohio Citizen Action. "'We want Vice President Gore to hear the ad wherever his campaign travels take him, not just here in Ohio,' said Jennifer O'Donnell, Akron area director for Ohio Citizen Action... 'Gore's EPA just came out with a report that says dioxin causes cancer. As of June 12, Gore's EPA should have moved to shut WTI down,' O'Donnell said. She was referring to the agency's leaked draft report that concludes that dioxin is a human carcinogen, and that the cancer risk from dioxin exposure is up to 10 times higher than previous projections. Dioxin is a by-product of waste incineration."|
|Aug 18, 2000: LOS ANGELES -- "Dissent's Real Democracy," Juan Gonzalez, New York Daily News. "Al Gore promised that if he and Bill Clinton were elected, they would do something about the incinerator. 'We'll be on your side for a change,' he said. Eight years have passed and the White House long ago forgot Gore's promise."|
|Aug 17, 2000: LOS ANGELES -- "Convention 2000: Electionline," Tom Squitieri, USA Today. "The White House eventually sided with WTI and blamed the problem on the Bush administration. The Gore campaign had no comment Wednesday."|
|Aug 16, 2000: LOS ANGELES -- "Ohio incinerator foes in L.A. to oppose Gore," Doug Oplinger, Akron Beacon Journal. "Environmentalists from East Liverpool, Ohio, are determined to tell the nation that Al Gore was blowing smoke in 1992. That's when Gore was campaigning for vice president and promised to shut down a Waste Technologies Industries hazardous waste incinerator in the Ohio River town. The incinerator is still burning hot, and so are the opponents."|
|Aug 16, 2000: LOS ANGELES -- "Metzenbaum blasts Cheney in talk with Ohio delegates," James Drew, Toledo Blade. "'All of these young people, especially if they have not been in the grass-roots movement, think Al Gore is an environmentalist because he wrote a book,' said Ms. [Terri] Swearingen, the leading foe of the Waste Technologies Industries incinerator in East Liverpool, O.... Ohio Citizen Action, the statewide consumer and environmental group, has produced a 30-second ad and is trying to raise at least $20,000 to air it in battleground states where Mr. Gore campaigns. The ad's narrator says: 'Vice President Al Gore, this is your conscience speaking. Where have you been the past eight years?...'"|
|Aug 14, 2000: LOS ANGELES -- "L.A. Story," Lindsay Sobel, American Prospect. "Terri Swearingen could be trying out for the role of the next Erin Brockovich. This striking activist gets up -- her makeup and hair perfect even in the broiling heat -- to ream Al Gore for his failure to keep a promise to shut down a toxic waste incinerator next to an elementary school in Liverpool, Ohio."|
|Aug 13, 2000: SPRINGDALE, PA -- "In Springdale visit, Gore displays environmentalist credentials," Bill Heltzel, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "Josh Knauer of Squirrel Hill yelled, 'Are you doing the right thing on WTI?' Afterward, as the vice president shook hands in the crowd, Knauer confronted Gore face-to-face. 'I said, 'Al, we want to support you. Just give us a reason,'' Knauer said later. 'We've heard nothing new today. He let us know how he personally feels about the environment. But there were no policy statements on the single greatest environmental issue in the Pittsburgh area.'"|
|Aug 13, 2000: SPRINGDALE, PA -- "Gore pledges clean-ups," Eric Felack, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "During Gore's speech yesterday, protester Josh Knauer shouted, 'Do the right thing about WTI.' Gore did not appear affected by the comment and afterward briefly spoke with Knauer. 'I told him we want you to follow through with your promise to WTI,' Knaver said. Knaver said Gore told him he was waiting to see the results of an independent review regarding the opponents' claims of the facility, which is pending."|
|Jul 11, 2000: WASHINGTON, DC -- "No time to waste: Anti-incineration homepage," Greenpeace. "When fragments of partially burned waste chemicals recombine within incinerator furnaces, smokestacks, and/or pollution control devices, hundreds, even thousands, of new substances are created, many of which are more toxic than the original waste itself... Among these are dioxins and furans (often referred to just as dioxins) a class of chemical compounds widely recognised to contain many highly toxic compounds including TCDD, a chemical which has been described as the most toxic chemical known to man."|
|Jun 30, 2000: EAST LIVERPOOL -- "Judge dismisses lawsuit against owner of plant," Associated Press.|
|Jun 29, 2000: LISBON -- "Judge dismisses class-action suit against WTI," Tom Giambroni, Columbiana County Morning Journal. ""There is nothing to indicate that anything the facility is doing (other than its stigma by merely existing) has directly affected the plaintiffs in this cause of action," [Judge Douglas] Jenkins wrote in his opinion. "|
|Jun 5, 2000: EAST LIVERPOOL -- "Gore Haunted by Campaign Promise," Steve Brown, Fox News. "'Out of this entire country, I think East Liverpool is the one city that Al Gore is afraid of,' Sandy Estell, a homemaker and lifelong resident of East Liverpool, Ohio, told Fox News standing outside her home last week."|
|May 19, 2000: AKRON -- "WTI issues for the U.S. EPA ombudsman," Jennifer O'Donnell, Akron Area Director, Ohio Citizen Action. "WTI’s worst-case analysis under U.S. EPA’s Risk Management Plan requirements estimates a 3.9 mile endpoint for the area that could be affected by a toxic chemical spill. WTI estimates a 0.6 mile endpoint for a vapor cloud explosion of pentane, which could include East Elementary School and nearby homes. In addition, U.S. EPA’s risk assessment for the facility outlined 27 possible accident scenarios that could threaten the 400 children in East Elementary School."|
|May 15, 2000: WASHINGTON, DC -- "New rules target waste burners: Chemical companies, commercial incinerators, environmental activists, cement kilns fight over air standards," Jeff Johnson, Chemical and Engineering News. "Applauding this view is Greenpeace's Rick Hind and other environmentalists, who would simply like incinerators shut down. 'We are reducing hazardous waste now--waste minimization efforts are working,' he says. 'Our fear is that EPA will discourage this trend by going weak on incinerators and kilns.'"|
|May 5, 2000: COLUMBUS -- "Onlookers display views in signs of the times," Ruth E. Sternberg, Columbus Dispatch "A group fighting a hazardous-waste incinerator in East Liverpool, Ohio, showed up to hand out literature. Ohio Citizen Action joined families seeking help for the contaminated campus of River Valley High School in Marion County. They hoped some of their leaflets would make their way into the president's hands."|
|Apr 26, 2000: EAST LIVERPOOL -- "The town that haunts Al Gore; How an incinerator in East Liverpool, Ohio, pollutes the vice president's reputation as a friend of the earth," Jake Tapper, Salon "Now the Ohio River Valley and the environmental community are strewn with Gore detractors who say he promised to do everything he could to keep the hazardous waste from entering their air, food and water, and then sat back and did nothing while the incinerator opened and began spewing forth. They are angry. And some of them are sick."|
|Apr 12, 2000: CLEVELAND -- "Bush reaches out on Cleveland visit; He tours faith-based agencies in Hispanic area. Gore also in Ohio," Steve Hoffman, Akron Beacon Journal "... Gore also encountered nettlesome questions about a hazardous waste incinerator in East Liverpool -- an issue he addressed in the 1992 campaign only to see the plant continue to operate..."|
|Apr 11, 2000: VANDALIA -- "Gore tells voters he's his own man; Vice president speaks near Dayton," Joe Hallett, Columbus Dispatch "Jane Forrest Redfern, environmental-projects director for Ohio Citizen Action, asked Gore to respond "yes or no'' to whether he as president would order a shutdown of the controversial WTI hazardous-waste incinerator in East Liverpool, Ohio. ... [At Gore's] request, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has agreed to review the permit, he said. "I think the review will uncover enough information on which to base a rational decision'' whether to keep the incinerator operating, he said."|
|Apr 8, 2000: EAST LIVERPOOL -- "Columnist should take a look at the facts regarding WTI," Raymond Wayne, Von Roll WTI, letter to the editor, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ""|
|Mar 30, 2000: EAST LIVERPOOL -- "Lawyers: Lawsuit against WTI will continue," East Liverpool Review "The property owners had filed the suit in January 1997, alleging that operation of the hazardous waste incinerator lowered their property values. Von Roll WTI had countersued the plaintiffs, alleging abuse of process, defamation, frivolous conduct and related matters."|
|Mar 28, 2000: NEW YORK -- "How to Deal with Gore: "Dump him -- just look at his record," Jeffrey St. Clair, "We can make him go green," Lois Marie Gibbs, Nation, issued dated April 17. " This stunning betrayal [on WTI] was a sign of things to come. It was swiftly followed by capitulations on the Everglades, ancient forests, fuel efficiency standards, pesticides in foods, wetland protection, oil development in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico, subsidies for nuclear power, organic food standards and ozone-depleting chemicals. And on and on. Connoisseurs of Gore's career aren't shocked by any of this. His voting record on environmental matters during his tenure in the House and Senate was mediocre by any standard and downright miserly when compared to his fellow Democrats."|
|Mar 27, 2000: LISBON -- "WTI suspends counterclaims until class action suit is settled," Tom Giambroni, Lisbon Morning Journal. "The property owners claim WTI has hurt property values by harming the water, air and land in the tri-state area. WTI responded by filing a countersuit seeking $1 million in damages from each of the 32 property owners, accusing them of engaging in a pattern of activity designed to defame the company and interfere with its ability to do business as a legally licensed and operating entity."|
|Mar 26, 2000: WASHINGTON, D.C. -- "Local Citizens Victorious Against Waste Technologies Industries (WTI) in Notorious SLAPP Suit," release, Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, PLLC. " WTI was required to respond in mid-April to discovery requests by attorneys for the citizens in which WTI would have had to either acknowledge the baseless nature of its allegations or produce evidence to back up them up."|
|Mar 23, 2000: EAST LIVERPOOL -- "WTI sullied by mud tossed at vice president," letter to the editor, Raymond J. Wayne, Von Roll WTI, Lisbon Morning Journal.|
|Mar 19, 2000: WASHINGTON, DC -- "A Paler Shade of Green," column, Mary McGrory, Washington Post. "Gore says [the WTI start-up] was an eleventh-hour decision by the outgoing Bush EPA, and there's nothing that can be done about it now. Nothing? After seven years of citizen protests, sit-ins, lawsuits, investigations, reviews and claims that the toxic emissions have increased cancer rates and caused unacceptably high levels of mercury in the neighborhood's schoolchildren? For a man running for the most powerful job on the planet, it is a curious projection of powerlessness..."|
|Mar 15, 2000:
WTI protests dog Vice President Al Gore campaigning in Pittsburgh; KDKA-TV's Stacy Smith questions Gore about WTI (transcript). Images from KDKA.
Mar 12, 2000: CNN covers Vice President Al Gore's environmental record:
At left, Ohio Citizen Action's Amy Ryder holds up a sign at a Gore rally saying "No WTI. Figure it out now!" An unidentified man reaches to grab the sign. Citizen Action's Mike Gutierrez is at lower left. Transcript, Natalie Pawelski, CNN/Earth Matters, March 12, 2000.
|Mar 4, 2000: EAST LIVERPOOL -- "Catch wave of change: Youngstown activist issues 'call to action'," Mike McKinney, East Liverpool Review. "'I head an organization (Save Our County) of largely white people,' [WTI activist Alonzo] Spencer said. He said they have protested together, and been arrested and jailed together. 'I would trust any of them with my life,' he said, 'as they would me.' He said it was 'imperative' for that very point to be reached in race relations in America. Spencer sounded a hopeful note by saying, 'And it will.'"|
|Mar 3, 2000: EAST LIVERPOOL -- "In Toxic Ohio Town, Angry Residents Would Rather Vote for Martin Sheen," Jason Vest, SpeakOut.com. "Estell's eldest son comes through the kitchen door. He has grim news: "You can add another name to your cancer list." There's a new cancer case in the neighborhood: a three-year-old toddler. The cancer rates in East Liverpool are 40 percent higher than the national average."|
|Mar 3, 2000: WASHINGTON, DC -- "Group: Al Gore failed us; Environmentalists: VP broke promise on Ohio incinerator," Associated Press. "A controversial Ohio incinerator could become a political issue this fall, say activists trying to push Vice President Al Gore on environmental issues as Super Tuesday looms."|
|Mar 2, 2000: CINCINNATI -- "Grand
jury indicts owner of landfill; Charges stem from investigation of relationships
surrounding Paul Voinovich and alleged kickbacks," Margaret Newkirk,
Akron Beacon Journal. "Fabiano, a former lobbyist for the Waste
Technologies Industries hazardous waste incinerator in East Liverpool, made
payments to the younger DeLuca at a time when WTI was having regulatory
troubles with both NOVAA and the state EPA."
CINCINNATI -- "Ohio landfill owner is latest charged in growing state corruption scandal," Sandy Theis and Ted Wendling, Cleveland Plain Dealer
|Mar 1, 2000: AKRON -- "Group challenges presidential candidates: Address toxic waste incinerator issue before March 7," release, Ohio Citizen Action. "'The U.S. EPA has always had the authority to revoke WTI’s permit,' said Jennifer O’Donnell, the group’s Akron area director. 'What’s been lacking is the political leadership from the Vice President, who continues to duck the issue.'"|
|Mar 1, 2000: AKRON -- "Environment erodes as an early issue; Topic not yet surfacing as national concern, but Ohio town has opinion," Bob Downing, Akron Beacon Journal. "It's no secret that Vice President Al Gore may have a hard time winning votes in gritty, blue-collar East Liverpool in eastern Ohio. Democrat Gore stuck his foot in his mouth in 1992 in the controversy surrounding the $160 million Waste Technologies Industries Inc.'s hazardous-waste incinerator, said incinerator opponents."|
|Feb 21, 2000: WASHINGTON, DC -- "Gore's core environmental support a little soft," Kate Ackley, Legal Times. "During a stump speech in 1992 and then later in a press release after the Clinton-Gore ticket won, Gore called the [WTI] incinerator 'unbelievable' and said he would push for 'a change.' The plant continues to operate today, and Greenpeace and its allies aren't about to let Gore forget it."|
|Feb 18, 2000: WASHINGTON, DC -- "Environmentalists threaten to disrupt Gore campaign stops," Katherine Rizzo, Associated Press. " 'We are going to hold his feet to the fire,' said Terri Swearingen of Tri-State Environmental Council. 'If that means hounding him throughout the campaign, not just until March 7, that's what we're going to do.'"|
|Feb 17, 2000: EAST LIVERPOOL -- "Pink plume promises; OEPA to provide written 'evidence' discharge harmless," Mike McKinney, East Liverpool Review. "... local environmental activist Alonzo Spencer, ... had, at the Jan. 18 meeting, requested formal action be taken to stop the facility from incinerating wastes containing iodine and bromide, which has periodically caused a visible pink plume to emanate from the facility's smokestack."|
|Feb 10, 2000: DAYTON -- "Gore puts emphasis on Ohio's primary; He calls state pivotal, discusses trade, organizing, `striker replacement travesty' at AFL-CIO dinner," Steve Hoffman, Akron Beacon Journal. "Environmental protesters were also on hand yesterday in Dayton, but were escorted off the grounds of a party center well before Gore arrived."|
|Feb 10, 2000: COLUMBUS -- "Phat Albert: The green tarnish behind Gore's polished image," Jamie Pietras, Columbus Alive. "... when the protesters finally surfaced inside the Ohio Union, they were stifled by Gore supporters, who ripped down the dissenting signs, and OSU personnel, who were quick to get protesters away from the crowd and away from the press"|
|Feb 5, 2000: WASHINGTON, DC -- "When the White House Calls ...," Margaret Kriz, National Journal|
|Feb 3, 2000: COLUMBUS -- "Unlikely
battle for Gore surfaces; Outburst by activists at campaign rally is ironic
for candidate who vows to 'protect the environment'," Nathan Crabbe,
Akron Beacon Journal|
COLUMBUS -- "Gore promises to fix education during OSU stop," Ted Wendling, Cleveland Plain Dealer
COLUMBUS -- "Gore asks students for help," Michael Hawthorne, Cincinnati Enquirer
COLUMBUS -- "Gore outlines student agenda in OSU stop," Fritz Wenzel, Toledo Blade
COLUMBUS -- "Gore rally at OSU raises roof; Vice president kicks off Ohio primary campaign," Darrel Rowland, Columbus Dispatch
COLUMBUS -- "Gore backs student aid at USG stop," Joel Moroney, OSU Lantern
|Feb 2, 2000: PITTSBURGH, PA -- "WTI foes ease up on Gore; White House agrees to review, making public hearings likely," Don Hopey, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette|
|Jan 31, 2000: MANCHESTER, NH -- "Ohio group's planned protest at Gore campaign headquarters a bust," Associated Press|
|Jan 30, 2000: COLUMBUS -- "Ohio incinerator was 'first broken promise'," James Drew Toledo Blade|
|Jan 28, 2000: CINCINNATI -- "Ohio lobbyist sentenced; Michael Fabiano receives probation for role in kickback investigation," Margaret Newkirk, Akron Beacon Journal|
|Jan 28, 2000: COLUMBUS -- "Toxic waste activists plan Gore office protest," T.C. Brown, Cleveland Plain Dealer|
|Jan 27, 2000: WASHINGTON, DC -- "See you in New Hampshire," citizens' letter to Vice President Al Gore on WTI|
|Jan 14, 2000: EAST LIVERPOOL -- "Environmental groups want to meet Gore; Coalition of activists plans to keep issue alive during election campaign," Bob Downing, Akron Beacon Journal|
|Jan 13, 2000: EAST LIVERPOOL -- "Gore's '92 Promise on Incinerator Propels Ohio demonstrators in '00," Francis X. Clines, New York Times|