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STAGGERS QUESTIONS WHETHER WTI SHOULD HAVE EVER BEEN BUILT; MEETS WITH EPA OFFICIALS, CALLS FOR EPA AND JUSTICE DEPARTMENT INVESTIGATIONS

STAGGERS QUESTIONS WHETHER WTI SHOULD HAVE EVER BEEN BUILT; MEETS WITH

EPA OFFICIALS, CALLS FOR EPA AND JUSTICE DEPARTMENT INVESTIGATIONS
 WASHINGTON, March 19 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. Rep. Harley Staggers (D-W.Va.) today has questioned whether the Waste Technologies Industries' (WTI) waste incinerator should have ever been built.
 Staggers, who met with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials today, said that the "overriding issue is the risk posed by WTI to the health and welfare of area residents."
 "I had more questions about WTI than EPA officials could answer," said Staggers. "If they can't provide answers to my questions at this time, how can EPA with any confidence sign off on a permit for WTI?"
 From what he's heard so far, Staggers said, "WTI was built in the wrong place, and poses a serious threat to residents throughout the region."
 Staggers said that he's concerned that emissions from WTI will be "trapped" in the Ohio River Valley because of the region's "inversions," which cause surface air and pollutants to be held down.
 A study has shown that "inversions" in the region "occur on the average of two days out of every three."
 "WTI will create a 'landfill in the sky,' threatening the health of residents in West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania," said Staggers, "How EPA could have ever signed off on this project raises serious questions about the agency's ability and commitment to the health and welfare of our communities."
 Staggers said he's calling on the EPA Inspector General to initiate a full investigation of WTI and EPA's handling of the permitting process.
 In addition, Staggers, who is a member of the House Judiciary Committee, said he will also call on the U.S. Justice Department's Office of Environment and Natural Resources Division to look into allegations concerning WTI.
 "There's serious allegations that WTI has changed its corporate name some 44 times, which would make it very difficult to prove who's libel should damage be done. In addition, there are allegations that funding for the project is linked to BCCI and other allegations that the owners of WTI traded illegally with the government of Iraq. All of these allegations go to the heart of the credibility of WTI, and its commitment to operate in a responsible manner," said Staggers.
 -0- 3/19/92
 /CONTACT: Jim Watkins of Rep. Harley Staggers' Office, 202-225-4331/ CO: Waste Technologies Industries; Environmental Protection Agency ST: West Virginia IN: SU:


DM -- PG003 -- 9903 03/19/92 17:53 EST
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Date:Mar 19, 1992
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