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HUNTER ANNOUNCES POSITIVE RECOMMENDATION BY THE HEARING EXAMINERS ON SALT DOME PROJECT

 SOUTHPORT, Conn., Dec. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Hunter Environmental Services., Inc. (NASDAQ-NMS: HESI) announced today that Hunter Industrial Facilities, Inc. (HIFI) had cleared a significant hurdle in the permitting of its facility to dispose of solidified hazardous waste in underground salt dome caverns. Yesterday, the Hearing Examiners, appointed by the Texas Water Commission (TWC), concluded that "the HIFI facility would be more environmentally protective than other disposal technologies." The Examiners therefore recommended that the TWC grant the permits necessary to construct and operate the HIFI facility.
 Although issuance of the final permits remains subject to the vote of TWC Commissioners, under Texas law they must consider the Hearing Examiners' recommendations. The Commissioners can only reject the Examiners' recommendations under certain very narrow circumstances. The three Commissioners are expect to vote on the final permits on Jan. 6, 1993. Additionally, the United Sates Environmental Protection Agency must approve certain portions of the permits.
 The Examiners' proposal for the decision detailed their agreement with HIFI on all eleven of the major issues concerning the applications including demonstration of an urgent public necessity for the proposed facility, no migration of hazardous materials disposed of at the facility for at least 15,000 years and that HIFI demonstrated sufficient financial assurance.
 Major conclusions reached by the Examiners in their written proposal for decision were as follows:
 -- "...the information provided by the applicant thoroughly addressed all issues in controversy and was more detailed and accurate than the information presented by the protestants..."
 -- "Realizing that this is an extremely unpopular recommendation with many area residents, the Examiners nevertheless conclude that the proposed facility is in the public interest. It is uncontroverted that additional commercial hazardous waste disposal capacity is needed in the State in order to safely manage hazardous waste generated in Texas. In this context, it is important to remember that the facility, although much opposed, would not be creating hazardous waste; instead, the evidence indicates that the applicant would be stabilizing existing hazardous waste--waste which will be generated by Texas industries, generally within 50 miles of the proposed facility, even with the implementation of an aggressive waste minimization plan--and disposing of it in impermeable salt dome caverns where it could permanently be isolated from the environment. Under these circumstances, the examiners conclude that the proposed facility, although unpopular, is in the public interest."
 -- "...the proposed facility... would operate safely without adversely affecting the quality of life of area residents." "The site meets all siting requirements for the protection of human health and the environment and is appropriately situated on a salt dome in a rural area in the vicinity of the generation point of most of the hazardous waste in Texas."
 -- "...it is apparent that the facility itself poses no threat to Lake Houston...", and "...the proposed design which includes reliable and redundant floodwater retention features should alleviate any concern of contaminated water exiting the facility, even during extreme rain fall events" and "HIFI has successfully addressed all legitimate flooding concerns."
 -- "...preclud(ing) the shipment of waste to its facility over...Lake Houston...will resolve a major concern of many persons who have provided public commentary in this proceeding..." and "...the HIFI facility should result in a net improvement of transportation safety in the area."
 -- "The evidence indicated that no other technology could meet... a showing that there would be no escape of hazardous constituents from the salt cavern injection zone over the required review period of 15,000 years."
 -- "HIFI offered credible evidence from leading authorities in a variety of specialized fields covering the broad spectrum of these applications." "They were leading authorities in their respective fields of expertise."
 Oliver A. Kimberly, Jr., chairman of HESI, stated that "this recommendation confirms our belief that the salt dome cavern disposal technology is the safest and most innovative solution to the problem of hazardous waste disposal. Additionally, this should ease the concerns of the surrounding community who now can look to the evidence that was scrutinized in a forum which focused on the facts and technical merits of our application and not on politics and emotions."
 The parties, including HIFI and the Executive Director of the TWC, staff have until Dec. 23, 1992 to respond with comments to the Hearing Examiners' proposal for decision. Once the comments are submitted by the parties, each of the parties will have until Jan. 4, 1993 to respond to the comments of the other parties. On Jan. 6, 1993 the Hearing Examiners will present their proposal for decision just prior to the vote taken by the three Commissioners of the TWC.
 Management believes that the Hearing Examiners, in their proposal for decision, have addressed all of the concerns and questions raised by the opposition parties and the Executive Director of the TWC staff. The Examiners' proposal for decision includes a recommendation for the issuance of six of the ten cavern permits requested by HIFI. Management believes that the six caverns recommended will be sufficient for it to operate the proposed facility at full capacity for the initial term of the permits.
 Additionally, in response to the permit provisions requested by the Executive Director of the staff of the TWC and objected to by HIFI, the Hearing Examiners ruled that "...the applicant should not be required to return to the TWC for a permit amendment prior to disposing of (no migration) waste, and the restriction on financial assurances should not be imposed."
 HIFI, a 63 percent owned subsidiary of HESI, is traded in the over- the-counter market, and is listed using the symbol "HUNF" in the bid and ask quotes of brokers as reported by the National Quotation Bureau, (the Pink Sheets).
 Hunter Environmental Services, Inc. is an environmental service company devoted to developing environmentally safe solutions to the fundamental problems surrounding the disposal of hazardous waste.
 -0- 12/11/92
 /CONTACT: Dennis Oistacher of Hunter (Southport), 203-255-8777 or John Murphy of Hill and Knowlton (Dallas), 713-752-1900 for Hunter/
 (HESI)


CO: Hunter Environmental Services ST: Connecticut IN; SU:

SH-JP -- NY003 -- 6151 12/11/92 10:29 EST
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Date:Nov 13, 1992
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