U.S. ECOLOGY TRIES AGAIN TO IMPORT MERCURY-LACED TOXIC WASTE FROM TAIWAN TO NEVADA DUMP
by GreenAction Press Release
SAN FRANCISCO, USA, 10 March 2000 -- GREENACTION CALLS ON NEVADA DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY TO REJECT SCANDAL-PLAGUED POISONS AND STOP NEVADA FROM BECOMING AN INTERNATIONAL TOXIC DUMPING GROUND. GREENACTION VOWS DIRECT PROTESTS IF SHIPMENTS OCCUR
San Francisco, CA -- The environmental justice watchdog organization Greenaction is calling on the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection to stop U.S. Ecology from importing a scandal-plagued shipment of toxic waste from Taiwan to their dump in Beatty, Nevada.
U.S. Ecology is again trying to import thousands of tons of mercury-laced hazardous waste from Formosa Plastics in Taiwan. U.S. Ecology's attempt to import this same waste last year was stopped after Greenaction and allies blew the whistle on the import scheme. Formosa Plastics also tried unsuccessfully to dump the waste in California, Idaho and Europe.
"Nevada officials must put the health of their citizens before the profits of U.S. Ecology, a toxic waste company with a poor track record that has polluted Nevada" said Bradley Angel, Executive Director of Greenaction. "Nevada must not become a dumping ground for international toxic wastes shipped from overseas that no one else in the world wants. This dangerous toxic scheme must be stopped."
The waste was generated by Formosa Plastics while manufacturing PVC (polyvinvyl chloride) plastics and is contaminated with mercury, a deadly neurotoxin. It also contains heavy metals, dioxins, PCBs and other
chemicals. The waste was previously illegally dumped in Cambodia where thousands of people rioted in the streets after villagers who were exposed to the waste and a dockworker who unloaded it died.
In addition to the high toxicity of the Formosa Plastics waste, the waste has not been carefully characterized, and it is not known exactly what is in the waste as it has been dumped, handled and repackaged many times.
U.S. Ecology has a poor environmental track record of leaking dumps, and faced massive opposition with their unsuccessful attempt to build the ill-fated Ward Valley nuclear waste dump near Needles, California and the Colorado River.
The Timbisha Indian Tribe would also be affected by the transport, treatment, and disposal of this waste. They are in the process of gaining new lands near Beatty, Nevada as part of their land claims with the US Government. Beatty is the site of US Ecology's hazardous waste dump.
Greenaction demands that Formosa Plastics treat and keep their toxic waste on site at the Taiwan factory where it was produced. The process for treating the waste, retorting, could be employed in Taiwan and the waste would not have to be shipped clear across the Pacific Ocean for treatment and disposal in the United States. Retorting involves roasting the waste in ovens which vaporizes the mercury. After roasting the mercury is recaptured and liquefied.
Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice
phone (415) 252-0822
fax (415) 252-0823
1095 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
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