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GE Workers Have a Right to Know

February 16, 1992

Re "GE Plant Investigated for Chemical Hazards" (Feb. 2): The basic question that the GE employees at the Anaheim facility want answered is: Why was this allowed to happen?

Mel Dinkel states the Anaheim plant handles about 2 million pounds of PCB each year. In 1987, the Anaheim facility processed 1,285,242 pounds of PCB material (according to the year-end closing statement filed with the Environmental Protection Agency) and in 1988, the facility processed 2,985,204 pounds of material.

During these two years, the facility was audited on numerous occasions by the EPA and GE, resulting in no violations, clean housekeeping and good record-keeping. Also, during these two years, the PCB material handlers strictly adhered to wearing the proper equipment on a daily basis. History has proved that the facility can process approximately 2 million pounds of PCB material each year and follow the regulations provided by the EPA.

Never should hazardous waste be considered a "joke" and EPA regulations be followed only when a "corporate or EPA inspector was present, or to impress customers when they were doing work outside the plant."

The employees and the public have a right to know who allowed these circumstances to occur, causing such violations and investigations. Maybe we already know the answer.

CHERIE MAHTESIAN, Anaheim. Cherie Mahtesian was formerly GE PCB facility supervisor at the Anaheim site.

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