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TEXAS WATER COMMISSION ORDERS EXPEDITED TIMETABLE FOR HIFI PERMITS PROCESS

 TEXAS WATER COMMISSION ORDERS EXPEDITED
 TIMETABLE FOR HIFI PERMITS PROCESS
 SOUTHPORT, Conn., Feb. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The Texas Water Commission (TWC) has ordered an expedited timetable for Hunter Industrial Facilities, Inc.'s (HIFI) permitting process, Hunter Environmental Services, Inc. (NASDAQ-NMS: HESI) announced today.
 HIFI, a majority owned subsidiary of HESI, is seeking permits from the TWC to process and dispose of solidified hazardous waste in underground salt dome caverns near Dayton, Texas. The TWC established a schedule for the commencement of the hearing and for making a final decision on the permit applications.
 The permitting timetable is as follows:
 -- Discovery begins on March 15, 1992
 -- Public hearing begins no later than June 15, 1992.
 -- Final TWC vote no later than Dec. 10, 1992.
 By unanimous vote, the TWC ordered the hearing examiner to establish an expedited timetable such that the discovery and deposition phase of the process begins on March 15, 1992, and that the public hearing begins no later than June 15, 1992. The TWC also requested the hearing examiner to present his recommendations in time for the TWC commissioners to consider the matter for final vote no later than Dec. 10, 1992.
 "By setting this schedule, the TWC has given us the opportunity to demonstrate that this project will provide a superior alternative to meet the hazardous waste management needs in Texas," Keith Price, president of HIFI said. "We are looking forward to the resolution of this process by Dec. 10 of this year."
 The permitting process had been delayed by the TWC pending implementation of hazardous waste legislation enacted in Texas in June 1991. The TWC has also elected to consider the adoption of limited additional rules relating to the disposal of hazardous waste in underground salt dome caverns. The TWC has ordered its staff to complete such rules no later than March 15, 1992, and establish a timetable whereby final rules will be adopted no later than May 1, 1992.
 The action by the TWC comes in response to a report issued by a panel of salt experts convened by the TWC to evaluate its rules for regulating the disposal of hazardous waste in salt dome caverns. The panel of experts concluded that the use of caverns, solution-mined in massive underground salt domes deep below the earth's surface, may be a superior technology compared to other practices of hazardous waste disposal.
 The panel also concluded that the existing regulatory framework is adequate for permitting this technology. It did suggest that certain minor amendments could be adopted to enhance the writing of permits for salt dome cavern disposal.
 The panel suggested additional rules defining "salt dome," "caverns," "salt stock" and "injection zone." It also suggested adding certain specific technical requirements including standards for cavern design, construction, cavern integrity testing and monitoring.
 "We view the report by the salt panel as the strongest possible endorsement for this technology," Price said. "We also agree with the decision to proceed with the permit process while additional rules are being written. The limited additional rules recommended by the TWC had already been adequately addressed in HIFI's permit applications and subsequent supplements," Price said.
 Salt caverns, solution-mined in salt domes thousands of feet below the surface of the earth, have been used safely for decades for the storage of hydrocarbon and petrochemical products. There are approximately 1,800 such caverns in use in the United States today. Industry experts believe that the use of these caverns for the disposal of solidified hazardous waste is an even safer application of this technology.
 Hunter Environmental Services, Inc. is an environmental services company devoted to developing and providing environmentally safe solutions to the fundamental problems surrounding the disposal of hazardous waste.
 -0- 2/13/92
 /CONTACT: John Murphy of Hill and Knowlton, 713-961-3334, for Texas Water Commission/ CO: Texas Water Commission ST: Connecticut IN: UTI SU:


PS -- NY009 -- 9540 02/13/92 08:03 EST
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Date:Feb 13, 1992
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