Snooze ya loose

Feb 5, 2003 at 12:00 am

What John Dingell wants John Dingell gets. At least that is what happened when the Democratic congressman from Dearborn wrote an irate letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency asking for another public hearing on a plan to operate deep-injection wells in Romulus.

Last month about 400 people packed a public hearing to decry injection of hazardous waste into two wells in Romulus. Environmental Disposal Systems Inc., which built and owns the wells, is seeking EPA approval for a “non-migration” permit. To obtain the permit, the company must show that the waste injected in the well, and an ancient rock formation 5,000 feet down, will not migrate for 10,000 years. Residents, who have been battling the wells for years, fear that the hazardous waste will contaminate ground water.

But according to Dingell’s letter, many citizens, including a member of Dingell’s staff, were cut short before completing their comments.

“This similar discourtesy was also visited upon officials from Wayne County and members of the Romulus City Council,” wrote Dingell.

Dingell also complained that the EPA failed to provide designated public libraries a copy of the permit so that citizens could review it.

And as if that wasn’t enough, the congressman mentioned how an EPA official dozed off during the hearing. Enraged residents shouted at the snoozer to get his attention, says state Sen. Raymond Basham (D-Romulus).

Dingell asked the EPA to hold another hearing in April.

Thomas Skinner, EPA regional administrator, dutifully agreed to schedule another hearing. Until then, News Hits suggests that the EPA staffers get some rest. Or some No-Doz.

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