WASHINGTON — Despite public concern over potential health risks and accidents, incinerating liquid hazardous wastes is "environmentally sound," the Environmental Protection Agency said Monday.
"Incineration is a proven technology that's available now," said Milton Russell, assistant EPA administrator of policy, planning and evaluation. "It destroys waste. It doesn't just move waste around in an environmental shell game."
The EPA, which six weeks ago proposed regulations to govern the incineration at sea of liquid hazardous wastes, based its new conclusions on the findings of two agency studies that said incineration poses minimal risks.
"Incineration, whether at sea or on land, is a valuable and environmentally sound method for destroying liquid hazardous wastes, particularly when compared to current land disposal methods," the agency said in summarizing conclusions by its Office of Policy, Planning and Evaluation. "There is no clear preference for incineration at sea or on land in terms of risk to human health and the environment."