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Cornwall Material Resource Recovery proposal

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1 Cornwall Material Resource Recovery proposal
Status report December 99

2 Cornwall, Ontario material resources recovery unit
Public hearings, attended by Ellen and Paul Connett, June & August 1999 application for permit to burn 30,000 ppm PCB’s, current permitted for 50 ppm Cornwall/Massena area already heavily contaminated with PCB’s

3 Cornwall hazardous waste incinerator
October 1998, began operation PCB’s from fluorescent light ballast In the new permit they also want to burn: pharmaceuticals, chlorofluorocarbons, electrical equipment, poisonous and reactive gasses, “controlled substances” and waste oils.

4 Submission by P. and E. Connett
MRR permit application hearing September 3, 1999

5 Powerpoint Precis of Connett submission
by A. Goddard-Hill, M.D

6 The Connett position “We are opposed to the granting of the Certificate of Approval to MRR to burn 30 Kg of PCBs per metric tonne load, and other additional wastes, except for the disposal of confiscated illicit drugs…... Rather than allowing a cheap burn of PCBs Ontario should pursue safer non-burn alternatives practiced elsewhere”

7 12 Reasons for this position

8 1. A disturbing precedent for Ontario & Canada
The equipment is primitive This is an incinerator, presented to the public as a recycling plant for metals It is a relatively cheap facility to be built in an economically depressed part of the province, thus presenting some attraction to the community as a source of revenue

9 PCB destruction is expensive: incineration is the cheapest option
a “DRE” of % sounds impressive but is based on test burns under ideal conditions, and is often greatly at variance with efficiency under actual operating conditions chemical destruction methods are available but are more expensive

10 2. Permitting process being rushed: analysis lacks rigor
(OWMC hearings (late 80’s) for proposed hazardous waste incinerator were very rigorous by comparison and lasted 10 yrs) MoE took emissions data from summary tables rather than from detailed congener profiles of pcb’s and missed a mistake in how non-detects were treated in calculations Thus, their analysis lacked rigour

11 The mistake Proponent claimed that non-detects were treated as though they were present at Limits of Detection in the calculations this proved not to be the case, as discovered by Connett, not the MoE (despite the latter’s claim (Dr. Birmingham) to having checked all the data Resulted in Doubling of dioxin exposure, and thus risk

12 Consultant error Arthur Gordon Environmental Evaluators Ltd
made same mistake 15 times in its 3 test reports did not include non-detected dioxins/furans as “detection limits” in calculations their response when questioned on the matter: “Welcome to the real world!”

13 Is the MoE engaged in the issue?
MoE inspector attended just one of 3 tests in March 1999 (on which day dioxin emissions proved to be much higher than on other two days)

14 The Big Omission Cow’s milk (and other animal fat) pathways of intake were not included along with vegetable and inhalation pathways by Willes in original RA When he did so at Connett’s suggestion, dioxin exposure via animal fat was 3000 times higher than the inhalation pathway this translates into a 600 fold increase in dioxin exposure at regional dairy farms

15 Milk producer 5 counties surrounding Cornwall are #5,7,12,13 and 15 in milk production in Ontario 3 of these counties are downwind of the facility

16 The Bigger Omission PCB emissions were excluded from calculations of dioxins TEF’s by Dr. Willes some PCB’s have a high TEF (toxic equivalency factor) in the absence of this element in the calculation it is impossible to make an accurate calculation of dioxin TEQ’s present in the PCB emission at the facility

17 Consequences: MoE regroups
As a result, MoE required that another more closely inspected DRE test burn be done, this time factoring in the PCB congeners in the emissions, especially the 12 that have dioxin-like properties, and that they be included in the Health Risk Assessment

18 3. Quality of key data questionable
Very limited test data were provided PCB, dioxin and furan emissions were relatively low according to this data, which was not credible for a number of reasons emission data “too good to be true” other metal reclamation plants of similar type elsewhere have had very high dioxin emissions.

19 (lack of) Pollution control devices
low emissions only been achieved previously by more elaborate facilities using longer residence (burn) times, and far more advanced air pollution equipment such as spray dryers, lime injection, activated carbon injection and baghouse filters this facility has only a single wet scrubber as a pollution control device, so why is it so effective? (no explanation offered)

20 4. Facility failed particulate guideline in EVERY test
Failed in 9/9 tests to meet the 20 mg standard problem: most of the dioxins and furans and as well metals (Pb, Cd, Cr, As) are concentrated on these particulates, esp very small particles, so high releases of particulates are an important route of escape for the chlorinated organic chemicals and heavy metals into the environment

21 5. Over reliance placed on short term tests to estimate long term dioxin and PCB emissions
only 6 test samples, 3 in Nov 1998 and 3 in March 1999 were taken, on which total health Risk Assessment and permitting were based these are the DRE (“destruction and removal efficiency”) tests of the incinerator

22 second set of 3 samples taken when facility only operating at Half capacity
proponent’s consultants (Kolymeychok, Willes) interpreted emission tests but Connett said: “Statistically there is no way that an average from these 3 tests is either accurate or a “conservative” estimate annual emissions”

23 Ideal vs Actual proponent has not established what “actual” emissions might be over an extended period of time and outside of the “ideal” conditions of the test burns (operates at 750 deg C) measurements were not taken during startup/shutdown intervals and upset conditions when furnace temperature is favorable for dioxin formation dioxin forms in a deg C “window”

24 6. No emission data was presented for other wastes proposed for burning
Permitting for the burning of wastes other than PCB’s is being applied for without any testing whatsoever e.g. other facilities burning electrical scrap have very high dioxin emissions each category of waste should be subjected to rigorous test burns prior to approval

25 pharmaceuticals No health Risk Assessment prepared on the incineration of pharmaceuticals no chemical analysis of the scrubber water, fugitive ash emissions and ash handling

26 7. Permitting is insensitive to the history of the area
Affects Cornwall, 3 Mohawk Nations, and communities in New York State already affected by dioxins, furans and PCBs from two aluminum smelters, Reynolds and Alcoa, across the river at Massena, NY, documented in annual TRI IJC identified Cornwall-Massena area of St. Lawrence River as one of 42 “Areas of Concern”

27 8. Need to know existing body burdens of PCB’s & dioxins
In order to assess impacts on health currently there is a lack of such data current burdens from other sources may already have contributed to various illnesses local residents should therefore not be subjected to further burdens of toxic contaminants

28 Health Risk Assessment 4 components
Stack pollutant emission measurement dispersion models, to calculate max annual ground level concentrations of same estimate of human exposure by various Pathways including air inhalation and food ingestion compare calculated exposure dose to regulatory standards

29 Cornwall public health unit
Dr. Bourdeau, Medical Officer of Health espoused the standard view of the Ontario public health community that cancer and non-cancer illness are due to lifestyle factors (smoking, lack of exercise, diet) and have little to do with toxic chemical pollutants in the environment……..

30 Medical Officer of Health
quoted 1996 Harvard Report on Cancer Prevention to explain cancers: 30% from smoking, 30% from obesity and fat and lack of exercise, and 2% from environmental sources. (he also noted lower male:female birth ratio in Cornwall)

31 Dr. Richard Clapp, Boston Univ School of Public Health
The Harvard Report “was another in a long series of reports emphasizing the role of personal lifestyle choices in creating risk of cancer…This view has been touted by industry groups seeking to reduce federal and state regulation of carcinogens in the workplace and the general environment.” Int’l J of Health Services, 28:4

32 And the MoH…. ...Had not read any of the reports prepared by the Mohawk Nations concerning the impacts of PCBs and other contaminants on the Mohawk people ...claimed that the high admission rate of children with asthma to hospital in the Cornwall area was related to cigaret smoking in the family home but had no local data to support this conclusion

33 Eastern Ontario (Cornwall) public health unit
Ontario public health (HPPA) legislation mandates a report on local hazardous waste sites and environmental risks every 5 years, with annual updates State of Environment Report from the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, May 1994 no report or update since Dr. Doshi, epidemiologist, EOHU, August 31,1999

34 9.Health risk assessments underestimate risks to residents
As done by proponent and regulator (MoE) Drs. Willes (proponent), Birmingham (MoE): assumptions not conservative; PCB’s not included in dioxin TEQ measure role of dioxin as potential Hormone Disruptor not considered at all in RA no current data on dioxin levels in breast milk of local residents provided or considered

35 RA only considers effect on individuals at point of maximum exposure, but > 1/2 of emissions are spread beyond this point I.E. effect of long distance transport beyond point of maximum impact and cumulative effect that this together with other similar facilities could have on the Ontario food chain was not considered

36 Willes: female child is most sensitive “target” to be considered in doing RA
Connett: female child one generation removed would be more representative, having received exposure in utero as a fetus, then received breast milk from a mother who has accumulated a body burden over 20 years, in addition to the child’s subsequent exposure during growth

37 Synergism and cancer Exposure to dioxins could be synergistic with cigaret smoking: cigaret smoke is an “initiator” of cancer dioxin is a “promoter” of cancer

38 10. Maximally exposed individuals could exceed new WHO TDI for Dioxin
based on new WHO standard of pg/kg/day body weight for dioxin intake, (revised in 1998 from 10 pg), the Ontario standard will likely also be adjusted downward sometime during the course of the 20 yr operating life of the incinerator

39 11. Other preexisting sources of exposure in the community
Pcb’s, dioxins and furans already contaminate the community from multiple other sources one new source (e.g the proposed facility) may push individuals over the threshold of Tolerable Daily Intake

40 12. One year delay If the permit is granted, a one year delay should be stipulated to allow for the collection of additional data so that the project can be put on a more scientifically rigorous footing

41 Letter to Dr. Bourdeau from A. Goddard-Hill, M.D, Sept 20, 1999
“Recently I received a copy of E and P Connett’s submission to the public hearings on the matter of the MRR facility.I have summarized these and put them on my website.As you are quoted in their submission I would be grateful if you would review my precis and make any suggestions or corrections that you have.” (No reply was received)

42 Globe and Mail October 18, 1999, Martin Mittelstaedt
“Proposal Calls for bargain basement PCB furnace”

43 “Small company says it has passed all the tests, but critics worry about proliferation of hazardous waste incinerators” MRR SRBP Inc proposal: to use $3.5 million scrap metal furnace as hazardous waste incinerator to burn PCB’s at 600 times current regulatory limit

44 “Usually people say small is better”, Damian Rodriguez, president, MRR...
“We are not trying to lower regulatory standards, we are setting new standards” these small furnaces are not used in U.S. for pcb destruction according to U.S. manufacturer, United Group, Topeka, Kansas (handle anything up to 499 ppm) Ross Ragland, United’s retired chief engineer)

45 PCB incineration Perhaps 6 incinerators in North America licensed to handle high level pcb’s (which is US is defined as > 500 ppm) Bovar ( Swan Hills, Alta) unit cost $400 million to build Ontario gov’t spent $80 million in unsuccessful 10 yr attempt to build a site to handle pcb waste

46 MMR Cornwall pcb burning
currently licensed to burn up to 50 ppm last year’s permit stipulates removal and proper disposal of higher concentrations prior to burn current proposal: raise limit to 30,000 ppm to allow burning of electrical light equipment heavily contaminated with pcb’s without costly stop of removing contaminant for destruction elsewhere

47 MRR corporate structure
Damian Rodriguez, President Jan Strmen, Vice president 9 shareholders other owners: 3 doctors, a lawyer and several small businessmen Quebec based company

48 Response of hazardous waste industry to proposal
Martin Hassenbach, PCB Containment Technology (a company which collects pcb’s for destruction elsewhere): “We have some concerns that the ministry seems to be relaxing the standards under which the industry operates. If this is approved, standards of getting rid of PCBs would be lowered.”

49 Globe and Mail Nov 4, 1999, Martin Mittelstaedt
“PCB Disposal plan in Cornwall approved despite objections”

50 Ontario Environmental Assessment Board decision
MMR SRBP proposal approved, Nov 1, 99 Board Chairman, Pauline Browes: “I was moved by the fact that many residents, including many community leaders, expressed their objection to the proposed additional wastes, particularly PCBs, being incinerated.”

51 Reason for approval “There is no evidence that the facility will worsen the health of people living in the Eastern Ontario city.” approval conditional on further tests, this time overseen by MoE, to show that the furnace can achieve high rates of pcb destruction before allowing commercial operation

52 Other requirements of conditional approval by Browes
5 yr review of fugitive pcb emissions monitoring of contaminant levels in vegetation near the plant

53 Paul and Ellen Connett Nov 30, 1999
Appeal of EAB decision under section 34(1) b, Environmental Protection Act Paul and Ellen Connett Nov 30, 1999

54 Problems with Judge Browes decision
“If the destruction of PCB’s were this simple it would have been done this way years ago.” P. Connett, appeal submission

55 Grounds for Connetts’ appeal: they claim that Judge Browes :
1. Made serious factual errors 2. Made arbitrary undefended judgements 3. Ignored key arguments 4. Selectively deferred to authority

56 1. Factual errors 1. Mistook pcb/dioxins exposure rates for exposure ratios 2. Assumed that Ontario dioxin TDI standard will remain at 10 pg/kg/day when it probably will be decreased to pg to conform to the 1998 WHO standard

57 2. Arbitrary and undefended judgments
3. “I am satisfied that the calculations of the three test burns be averaged” (rather than using the 95% upper confidence level, as Dr. Connett had argued) 4. “Dr. Connett questioned variances of emissions that could occur during start-up, shut down and upset conditions. I considered these elements and believe that those circumstances can be controlled.”

58 3. Ignoring key arguments
5. Accepted absolute measure of dioxin esposure increments rather than putting them in the relative context of levels to which local residents are already exposed, combining which put residents over the current Ontario standards of tolerable exposure

59 Did not wait for MoE study results
6. Ignored the recommendations to await the results of dioxin and furan testing being done by MoE (Phytotoxicology and soil standards section, George Crawford) on various media surrounding the MRR site to understand the background environmental burden (counties surrounding MRR incinerator rank as some of the highest producing dairy counties in Ontario)

60 Mother’s milk 7. Ignored recommendation to do studies of background dioxin levels in human breast milk prior to approval (At last measure in 1992, Canadian human breast milk contained 25 times the current Tolerable daily intake standard for a 6 month old infant)

61 Burning pharmaceuticals
8. Ignored absence of information on potential problems posed by burning waste drugs (MoE witnesses could not cite ONE published paper on the expected emissions or fate of these emissions.Neither was any risk assessment on this aspect done (top 4 categories of chemicals causing cancer include pharmaceuticals)

62 Other waste streams that EAB has permitted MRR to incinerate
Oil contaminated containers and debris and electrical equipment compressed gases and cylinders 9. Ignored absence of risk assessment on this aspect, in particular the absence of any information about the amount of PVC plastic in these sources

63 Long range transport beyond point of maximum impingement
10. Ignored the absence of information about the bulk of dioxin emissions, well over half, that go beyond the maximum point of impact, adding to the cumulative load of dioxins in the Ontario food chain via long distance transport. (health risk assessment looked only at impact of dioxins on the maximally exposed individual)

64 PCB congeners 11. ignored absence of information about PCB congeners in test burns (PCB ambient air concentrations are predicted at 26,000 times higher than predicted dioxins/furan concentrations, yet the Certificate of Approval for DRE test burns does not require congener specific profiles of PCB’s)

65 Asthma 12. Ignored key information about asthma, which has an excessively high incidence in the area. However, significance of the MRR’s test burns having failed MoE’s particulate standard 9 out of 9 times was not ascertained. (Dr. Bourdeau attributed higher local incidence of asthma to smoking despite having no supportive evidence to present)

66 4. Selectively deferred to the authority of 3 out of 4 experts:
Dr. Birmingham, MoE regulator, had signed off on calculations on dioxin exposures made by Dr. Willes. These subsequently were proven to be incorrect by Dr. Connett Dr. Willes, consultant paid by the proponent Dr. Bourdeau, MoH public health expert Dr. Paul Connett, dioxin chemist for the dissenting side, whose arguments often went unanswered

67 Support for the Connett appeal of EAB decision
A. Goddard-Hill, M.D December 5, 1999 (see letter to Lieutenant Governor elsewhere on web site)

68 The Lieutenant Governor in Council
December 5, l999 The Lieutenant Governor in Council Re: Appeal of the Browes Decision of the Environmental Assessment Board, case number , pertaining to Material Resource Recovery SRBP Inc, November 1, 1999, Paul and Ellen Connett Dear Lieutenant Governor, Please accept this letter in support of the Appeal being made to you under the Environmental Protection Act, section 34(1)b by Paul and Ellen Connett in their submission to you of November 30, l999. …… page

69 The reasons for my support are as follows:
1. The content of the Connett appeal is substantial and significant. 2. One reason given for the acceptance of the proposal is that “there no evidence that the facility will worsen the health of people living in Eastern Ontario.” I believe that in the general case of incinerator emissions there is substantial evidence in the medical literature that these may have a negative impact on human health. For full detail please refer to the relevant content of my website, (best accessed with Microsoft Explorer). ……next page

70 3. In the specific case of Cornwall, I wrote a letter to Dr
3. In the specific case of Cornwall, I wrote a letter to Dr. Bourdeau, the local Medical Officer of Health, to ask for his response to the Connett’s claims about local human health effects. He did not reply. This is somewhat surprising as under the Health Protection and Promotion Act I believe that he has an obligation to answer the concerns of citizens in projects of this type. It therefore seems that the process of public participation has not been completed. (Please refer to the specific Powerpoint presentation on my website which summarizes the Cornwall issue and includes my letter to Dr. Bourdeau.) … page

71 4. The assessment of the potential impact of MRR incinerator emissions on the surrounding agricultural lands has not been completed, and does not meet, for example, the standard of the European Union. For instance at a meeting of agricultural ministers of the EU in Brussels in September David Byrne, commissioner for food safety in Belgium has called for systematic monitoring of beef and fish for dioxin and pcb’s. Byrne said there was obviously a problem associated with rearing animals close to some industrial facilities, and in particular near waste disposal incinerators. Byrne was referring to a new Belgian report that found pcb and dioxin residues in 10 of 1000 cattle tested after recent food contamination problems in Belgium. (The Lancet, October 9, 1999) Thankyou for your consideration. Sincerely yours, A. C.Goddard-Hill

72 Letter of Acknowledgment December 20, 1999
to Dr. Goddard-Hill from Suzanne Wilson, Manager, Executive Council Support Ontario Cabinet

73 “I note your support for the Appeal of this decision by Pault and Ellen Connett.”
Suzanne Wilson

74 submitted to the Ontario Cabinet
Response to the Ontario MoE, MRR reply submissions to the Connett petition Paul and Ellen Connett February 17, 2000 submitted to the Ontario Cabinet

75 Facility adds to background exposure of community to dioxins, pcb’s to the extent that community will be exposed to more than safe limit of dioxin exposure using WHO and province of Ontario standard alternative “closed loop” treatment systems are available which render this technology unnecessary

76 The penny drops: MoE says
“The Canadian background exposure for dioxins and furans (I.e. amount that Canadians are already exposed to on a daily basis) ranges between pg TEQ/kg/day. Given that the WHO TDI of l pg TEQ/kg/d is less than one half the current Canadian estimated background exposure to dioxins from all sources, it is unlikely that any facility could meet this expectation.”

77 MoE data not made available
For some reason despite repeated requests, the Connett’s could not obtain data published by the MoE on background readings of dioxins and furans (as determined by MoE analysis) in the Cornwall readings their response to the reply to the Appeal is therefore considered to remain incomplete

78 Pharmaceuticals, PVC’s in the waste stream
No health risk assessment done on incineration of these materials PVC’s, found in discarded electrical equipment which is to be included in the waste stream for incineration, are notorious for producing dioxins when incinerated neither was data on the amount of PVC’s to be incinerated available

79 Dairy country The bulk of dioxin emissions from the facility, well over half, go beyond the point of maximum impact (impingement), and thus may enter the Ontario food chain through local milk production counties surrounding Cornwall rank number 5, 7, 12, 13 and 15 in milk production in the Province of Ontario

80 PCB congeners not identified in the Risk Assessment
About a dozen PCB’s have dioxin-like toxicity It is necessary to know what PCB congeners are in the emissions (not in the waste itself) so they can be included in the final dose calculation this data is not available

81 Asthma MoH confirmed higher rates of asthma in the community compared to provincial average he attributed this to smoking habits in the population but no data was made available to support this hypothesis MRR test burns failed Ontario particulate standards for air quality 9 of 9 times

82 Dr. Birmingham MoE consultant at the hearings
Review of his credentials and research work is given has participated in other such hearing in the province: e.g.Norampac Trenton, & generic landfill site study for Province of Ontario, 1999, (which came up with the following interesting finding: see next slide)

83 (Cancer risks from landfill chemicals: from 1999 MoE landfill study)
The combined total cancer risk to the Hawk was 4:1000, (which is below the level of concern set at 1:100) from Human Health risk Assessment: the combined cancer risk from landfill emissions is 1:250,000 to 1:100,000;drinking water contaminated with landfill chemicals (e.g. vinyl chloride) posed risks of 1:1 billion to 1:1,000,000

84 Abridged Health Profile, City of Cornwall, submitted to the hearings by EOHU, July 99
For the years , the “major causes of death” were significantly higher than Province of Ontario averages for: males: ischemic heart disease, lung cancer, chronic obstructive lung disease, mva’s and suicides females: for ischemic heart disease, lung cancer and chronic obstructive lung disease.

85 Second Letter of support for Connett appeal
A. Goddard-Hill, M.D. March 12, 2000

86 Letter…. March 12, 2000 Re: MRR SRBP Inc, Case Number 98-123
Your file: P2/99 Dear Ms. Wilson, Thank you very much for your reply of December 20, acknowledging my letter of support for the Connett appeal of Judge Browes’ decision regarding the CoA application by MRR SRBP. I now have read the Connett’s reply to the MoE/MRR response to their original petition, which is dated February 17, 2000. It is clear from this document that the concerns raised by the Connetts in their original appeal have gone largely unanswered by the MoE, MoH and MRR. The appellants’ central point in essence is that emissions from the facility will add significantly to the existing burden of pollution already borne by the community, thus posing additional risk to human health.

87 They further note that safer alternative technologies are available for the disposal of PCB waste.
It is therefore very doubtful that facilities of this type should continue to operate. The International Joint Commission has designated the Cornwall area as an industrially polluted “area of concern”, one of a number in the Great Lakes Basin. Another of these is the Bay of Quinte area and there are at least a dozen more on the Canadian side of the Great Lakes. Within the last year the Canadian federal government (Health Canada) has identified higher rates of human disease and death in these polluted areas of concern as compared with provincial average rates. Furthermore the provincial and municipal governments (public health departments) have recently confirmed these epidemiologic trends in both the Cornwall and Bay of Quinte areas.

88 Therefore inviting industry to add to the existing burden of industrial pollution in these communities is not sensible. The approval of the continued operation of this particular facility will set an important precedent for the Province of Ontario. In our region of the Bay of Quinte there are now proposals on the table for a hazardous waste incinerator in Trenton, and as well for municipal waste incinerators in Peterboro, Northumberland and possibly near Napanee as an alternative to the proposed expansion of the Richmond Township provincial landfill. (In addition the MoE has recently acknowledged that medical waste incinerators continue to operate in our and other communities in the province with virtually no regulation or pollution control whatsoever.) All of these will have an impact on the Bay of Quinte watershed if constructed, a watershed which is already highly polluted. This is a very serious matter. We can be grateful to the Connetts for advancing the debate on this issue. I remain in full support of their Appeal.

89 I would like to talk to you about how the Ontario Cabinet intends to proceed on this issue. Please call me at my office. I would also be grateful if you could send me a copy of the MoE measurements of the levels of background dioxin/furan levels as completed by Mr. George Crawford. Best wishes. Sincerely yours, A. C. Goddard-Hill

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