Bitch session

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News Hits may not have put it quite like David Sanderson, who recently called Gov. John Engler a “big fat son-of-a-bitch.” But we can’t say we disagree with the Taylor resident’s not-so-subtle sentiments. Sanderson was one of about 75 folks who attended a raucous public meeting last week regarding a Birmingham-based company’s proposal to inject hazardous waste into two 4,700-foot wells in Romulus. Sanderson and others living near the proposed site are peeved at the guv, who has bent over backward for Environmental Disposal Systems (EDS), which is seeking an operating license from the state so it can run the commercial waste well. Austin Marshall, EDS vice president, stood before the angry crowd at Crown Plaza Hotel in Romulus, explaining the company’s plans and answering questions.

Sanderson blasted Marshall because Romulus and Taylor residents have objected to the waste wells since they were first proposed in 1990; they fear that the waste, which will be shipped by truck, may spill or that the wells will leak and taint drinking water.

“Why didn’t you sons-of-bitches listen when we said no the first time?” asked Sanderson. About two years ago, Romulus, Taylor and Wayne County sued the state for issuing a permit to EDS to operate and store hazardous waste, though Engler’s own environmental site review board recommended that the permit be denied.

EDS is seeking a final permit from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which is reviewing the application. The Birmingham company needs the EPA permit to obtain its operating license from the state. It could be several months before the EPA decides.

In the meantime, residents sporting “No Well” buttons say they will turn out for public meetings and voice their disapproval. And though the snits of Sanderson and others may never get through to EDS or Engler, they did remind News Hits of how glad we’ll be when the, ahem, the aforementioned BFSOB leaves office this year.

Ann Mullen is a Metro Times staff writer. E-mail [email protected]
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