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Controversy Over Toxic Incinerator

December 02, 1988

The Metro section carried an extensive article about the protest against the proposed hazardous waste incinerator in Vernon (Nov. 13). I attended one of the hearings on the proposed facility in Vernon last year. The organized disruption by persons under the leadership of Greenpeace Society made it impossible for many people who attended that hearing to receive the information they had come to hear.

I decided at that meeting that the cause for proper disposal of materials now classified as hazardous waste would get my support.

The hazardous waste materials problem has become acute because of the rash of chemical products developed in the recent past to help in our daily lives, and laws that control disposal. There are numerous materials that can no longer be simply thrown in the trash for disposal. Some materials classified as hazardous are also considered toxic, but there are many common chemical compounds classified hazardous that do not contain potentially toxic components.

We must recycle reclaimable hazardous wastes where feasible and control disposal of other hazardous and toxic waste in a manner that will not contaminate the planet. Some hazardous materials are currently being transported thousands of miles for treatment or recycling. There are now only two hazardous waste dumps available to local disposers, both hundreds of miles from the major waste generation centers of the county. They have been located and designed to assure low risk of contamination of water supplies.

Reasons for selecting the city of Vernon were: It has been an industrial area for many years; sites provide easy rail transportation, and land, already zoned as industrial, is available in sizes suitable for the planned purpose.

WM. R. DOWNS

Rancho Palos Verdes

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