f i r S

‘ji.. -
April 24, 1986
JT&A, Inc.
Contract No. 68-01-6986
Work Assignment 1—19
Batte lie
Washington Environmental Program Office
2030 M St., NW
Washington, DC 20036

     1. General perceptions

     The first issue, to the public, is that the environment must
be strenuously cared for: past harms should be redeemed and
future harms avoided.  Public reaction to ocean incineration —
for and against — overwhelmingly hinged upon whether the
commenters perceived greater environmental protection in choosing
ocean incineration as a treatment or in rejecting it (216)(331).
All agreed that hazardous waste must be handled safely; what
commenters disagreed on was whether incineration at sea was a
safe alternative.

     The range of reasons given in opposition was considerably
wider than the range of reasons given in support. In fact, a good
part of the opposition to incineration is grounded in concomitant
issues such as added risks in transportation (206), the status of
other technologies  (35), siting (214); possible drinking water
contamination (293); or economic disturbance (1280)(1325).
     2.  Alternatives to ocean incineration

     Numerous commenters asked EPA to look for an alternative to
incineration (318) (414). They frequently asked that treatment be
done on land where it could be better controlled and better
watched (3) (6).

     Many commenters are disturbed that pursuing this research on
ocean incineration will discourage the Agency from investigating
other ways to handle hazardous and toxic wastes (927) (1244)
(1070).  Several suggested that more research should be done on
the plasma arc  (224), bacterial digestion of PCB's (260); burning
in cement kilns  (46); and on solidification (1296) (1612).

     One commenter summed up the generic opposition to ocean
as " a gut feeling that it is wrong. Wrong because it does not
fundamentally alter our approach to the toxics dilemma. Wrong
because if prejudices EPA's commitment to act in the best
interests of our environment." (1274)

     Hundreds of commenters, however, pointed to the Nation's
inventory of wastes and said that we could not afford to leave
this avenue unexamined  (1177)(1200)(152)(310)(339)(405).

     Many commenters believe the time for wise decision is not
yet, that the Agency must first deliver a comprehensive waste
reduction, recycling, reuse, and management plan (473).

3. General perceptions on environmental effects
The very existence of PCB’s is a threat to the environment
according to both supporters and those who oppose ocean
incineration (7). Many commenters see not generating wastes in
the first place as the logical starting point in hazardous waste
management (240). Others observe that this is quite impossible,
as one put it “we all drove to this hearing in cars with rubber
tires, urethane seats, vinyl...” (906). Some commenters pointed
out that even if we could stop producing hazardous wastes, we
must still do something about the wastes already in existence
(313)(38). Those who favor ocean incineration often see this
technology as a means to stop environmental harm by destroying
hazardous chemicals, something that cannot be achieved by
storage, landfilling, or continually waiting for a new treatrrierit
idea (66). Those who oppose ocean incineration give a number of
ways that this technology could harm the environment: pollution
of the relatively clean ocean (146)(l47); further stress to an
already polluted ocean (249); air pollution from emissions (263);
terrestrial pollution from spills, leaks, and discharges while
loading, unloading, transporting, or storing the chemicals
(136)(582). In addition, opponents predict widespread economic
harm to fishery, tourism, real estate, and property values from
actual release and through public perception that the coastal
areas have become tainted (278)(64).
4. Possible changes in public opinion
Many corninenters indicated that they could change their minds
about ocean incineration. Those who supported investigating the
technology said they might change their minds if several things
happened : failure to adhere to good scientific practice and
advice including SAB recomniendations (327)(473); insistence upon
such a long route of transport (327)(l17); and failure to prepare
a comprehensive waste management plan (18)(340).
Those who opposed ocean incineration at present could come
to support it, they said, if small—scale, laboratory or land
based research verified its feasibility (999)(428)(899) or the
permittee was not CWM (see all of chapter III).
5. Public trust
Public opinion of EPA and of the proposed permittee played a
major role in how many commeriters perceive this proposed
technology. Public distrust of CWM is strident and it is shared
by those who support and oppose ocean incineration alike; chapter
three discusses this issue at length.
Many comments also indicate that EPA is sometimes mistrusted
and must overcome suspicions that the Agency is not an advocate
for the environment (325)(91l)(554).

1. General perceptions
Many comnienters did not address the statutory or legal
basis of need. Rather, they looked at ocean incineration against
the background of the national problem, the existence of PCB’s,
and the means for handling them, to judge whether EPA should test
incineration at sea. Some comznenters considered the national
waste disposal problem so great that EPA should explore all
alternatives, including ocean incineration (240). In concurring,
one commenter saw ocean incineration as an option for treating
wastes removed from old waste sites (1247).
Several coniinenters who thought ocean incineration was
unnecessary advised EPA to solve the problem at its source by
emphasizing waste reduction (1324). One cornrnenter suggested that
EPA has not evaluated the national potential for hazardous waste
reduction and therefore cannot guess what the need is for ocean
incineration (277). Others pointed out that although waste can
be reduced and recycled there will always be some wastes
remaining to be disposed of by specialized disposal techniques
(329)(338). That other technologies exist does not rule out the
need for offshore incineration, according to one commenter; both
have plusses and minuses and both are needed (338).
One commenter believed that EPA was using ocean incineration
as a substitute for a comprehensive plan (277).
2. Benefits of the research
Several comnienters thought that a test burn was the logica
next step in evaluating whether ocean incineration was a good
alternative. Such a test burn, these commenters indicated,
could provide missing information (35)(218)(288)(339)(432). One
cominenter thought that money spent on research such as the
proposed test would produce more long—term benefits than money
spent on cleaning up land disposal sites. Another commenter who
strongly supported ocean incineration thought the test burn
should be done “to quiet the detractors.” (15)
Some comrneriters questioned the value of this particular
research permit; some charged it was being used to allay fears
rather than gain information and would not resolve many of the
questions a research project should answer (272)(899).
3. Economic need
One cominenter noted that chemical producers in the States
near the loading site were also major employers in the area.

This commenter felt such companies needed the support of an ocean
incineration program because the closest land—based incinerator
facility was 1,100 miles away, costing firms an average $3850 in
waste shipping charges, as opposed to $350 if they could ship to
the port of Philadelphia (219). Another coxnmenter agreed, saying
businesses liked the idea because it was a cheap way outu (249).
4. Ocean incineration’s capacity for handling wastes
Several commenters questioned whether ocean incineration
offered a significant option for the kinds and quantities of
wastes produced in the United States. They pointed out that the
Nation urgently needs more treatment of solid wastes and sludges,
a problem that cannot be solved by ocean incineration because
solids and sludges are unsuitable for burning at sea (249). One
comznenter estimated the ocean incineration technology could be
used on no more than 8 percent of the Nation’s wastes or 6
percent of Pennsylvania’s wastes (473). This commenter thought
it “immoral that EPA would claim ocean incineration could offer
an answer to Superfund site cleanups because the bulk of
Superfund wastes are solids and sludges.” Another comnienter
observed that ocean incineration does not offer a significant
solution; it could treat only the .05 to 5 percent of the
Nation’s wastes that are pumpable, liquid, burnable, and have
high BTU ratings (1324).
Another cominenter pointed out that the stockpile of PCB’s
was actually dwindling (since their manufacture is banned) and
the wastes most likely to require treatment in the future were
municipal sludges and a wide variety of wastes from small
generators -- neither of which this corninenter surmised could be
burned at sea (1261).
Some comrnenters believe that, regardless of how much waste
it could handle, ocean incineration is superfluous (277)(1261).
One cominenter cited an OPPE study as reporting that only 63
percent of land-based incineration capacity is currently being
used (296). Two cornmenters had surveyed two large waste
management firms to ascertain available land—based incineration
capacity (].261)(1324). They found one company had one approved
facility with excess capacity now, and two similar facilities
with more sophisticated emissions control systems that are
awaiting approval (1261). The second company responded that it
was not running at capacity now and the demand was declining
According to one cominenter, after studying ocean
incineration the New Jersey Facility Siting Commission decided
the technology was not worth pursuing (558).

5. Need for ocean incineration compared to other options
One conimenter suggested that EPA use sections 227.15(a)
and (b) of the Ocean Dumping Regulations to identify factors that
must be considered in determining need. The needs that this
conunenter believed EPA has not met include an evaluation of the
process that generated the waste in the first place; an
evaluation of less polluting materials and processes that could
be used; and an evaluation of environmental impacts compared to
other land-based alternatives (1324). The same cornrnenter
suggested consideration of the chemical dechlorination technology
developed by SOHIO as an alternative worth further consideration
because it emitted no PCB’s into the air or water.
The fact that Europe has used ocean incineration for nearly
20 years was not taken as proof of its value by some cornntenters.
They said that Europe was phasing out its ocean incineration
program (249)(312)(339)(326). Another conunenter, however, said
that Great Britain had decided to try ocean incineration 7 years
ago and was still using it successfully (231). According to this
comnienter the operation managed by Tinenware County has been so
safe (no accidents to date) and so successful that other local
government organizations have come to back the practice of ocean
incineration. Moreover, Tinenware accepts wastes from all over
the United Kingdom. The cominenter noted that ocean incineration
was among many waste management options evaluated by the county
and had proved suitable in a country that is extremely small
geographically, densely populated, and supports a wide variety of
industries (231).
One cominenter stated that the MPRSA requires considering
storage until an appropriate technology becomes available, and
that option should be counted when assessing the need versus
existing capability (1324).
6. Practicable alternatives
Both the London Dumping Convention and the MPRSA discuss
alternatives in terms of whether they are “practicable.” One
commenter gave the definition from MPRSA as uavailable at
reasonable incremental cost and energy expenditures, which need
not be competitive with ocean incineration costs taking into
account relative environmental effectsu (1324). Another
commented that EPA had acknowledged its responsibility to the LDC
in the Agency’s rule on ocean incineration by using the words
“every effort should be made to determine the practical
availability of alternative land—based treatments, disposal,
elimination, or of treatment to render waste less harmful for
dumping at sea ....“ (1261). This conunenter believed that EPA
made a great error in allowing a finding that ocean incineration
was not more harmful to the environment than land—based
alternatives to stand alone as a demonstration of need. The
commenter stated that the LDC clearly requires the additional

determination that adequate practicable alternatives do not exist
Another commenter took up the point of practicability
indirectly by chastising people who always seem to be waiting for
a better answer while overlooking the current best available
technology -- in this case, ocean incineration (338).

1. General perceptions
Chemical Waste Management is well known to the public:
cominenters frequently referenced news stories and articles
in special publications that deal with environmental issues
(139)(1620). One commenter claimed that their history of the
pursuit of profit, in brutal disregard of the health of others,
has been well documented” (1245). Another commenter, however,
discounted this negative publicity by observing that legitimate
waste handlers like CWM receive undue and distorted coverage
while the real culprits -— the midnight dumpers and illegal
profiteers -- go unnoticed (237).
Numerous commenters found CWM’s history of fines for
violations objectionable; one pointed out that only “increases
our fear” of ocean incineration (258). Another offered that
CWM’s presence “makes an already flawed proposal a threatening
one” (1255). Some conmienters pointed to the company’s history of
mismanagement as a serious flaw (249)(265). One equated hiring
CWM to hiring a surgeon who had spent millions in malpractice
suits (278). A few commenters saw the history of fines as a
payoff (303) or evidence of collusion with the Agency
(265)(337)(555). Even some supporters of the research object to
this company as the perinittee (38).
2. History of fines and violations
Hundreds of coinnienters brought up CWM’s fines over the
previous 18 months (10) (16)(159)(247)(303)(316)(473) (561) (1244)
(1340). Many believed that CWN’s history of violations
constituted a “horrible record,’ t that “they are not the ones we
want 100 miles offshore ‘burning’ toxic waste” (986). Many
cominenters were quite specific about the violations they had
heard of (8) (70) (256) (283) (293) (299) (308) (355) (1244) (1340). Some
comn enters noted that CWM is facing enforcement orders or has
been fined or indicted in California, Oregon, Alabama, Colorado,
Illinois, and Ohio (1244)(1340). Another conuiienter indicated
that EPA’S own national enforcement investigation center has
accused CWM of poor management, poor lab practices, lack of
concern for safety procedures, incomplete records, discrepancies,
and incomplete accounts to investigators (296).
Many cominenters concluded that CWM’s motives are suspect,
that the company is pursuing the test burn because they are
sitting on wastes that they want to get rid of easily and cheaply
to avoid liability (343)(337): “It’s a matter of waste making
haste” (337).

Some comrnenters pointed to Chem Wastes 17—year record of
burning wastes at sea without incident in Europe as evidence of
the company’s reliability (284). Another commenter claimed that
the record was not so good and listed several alleged incidents
in the company’s European operation (227). This commenter asked
if these were not accidents, what were they? Were they
deliberate?” (227)
Public mistrust runs deep (227)(244)(49)(304). One
commenter responded to an alleged EPA claim that CWM had no
violations in the Region by observing that was unimpressive given
that “they don’t have any facilities in it anyway” (226).
Another suggested that perhaps a more reliable company would make
this permit application credible to the public (590).
4. Perceptions of EPA’S validation of applicant
Many cornmenters saw EPA in a negative light by virtue of
the Agency’s dealings with CWI4 in the past, especially if
the Agency continued a relationship with CWM (308)(309)(49l). In
addition to the concerns about payoffs and collusion already
discussed, some cominenters wanted to know why this company was
selected (6)(518). Why was this company only fined instead of
being shut down, asked one cominenter (244).
One coznmenter called CWM’s explanation that the company had
paid fines just to bring sites into compliance and put much of
the money into trust funds a “whitewash,” and charged that “our
regulatory agencies afford too many courtesies and considerations
to industry until environmental catastrophe happens...It is
bitter folly to rely on agencies” (224). Another conunenter
declared that “if this permission is granted, you have betrayed
our trust in you for improper (sic) management of our habitat”
(304). After citing several violations for which CWM was
assessed “inadequate fines,” a speaker asked the hearing officer
directly, “Is it indifference to human values or is it simple
incompetence that leads to this record of performance?” (308)
One conunenter objected to transport by a firm with “such a
bad record,” monitored by EPA with what the commenter termed
“questionable capabilites” (440).
A comznenter who said that CWM has demonstrated that it will
break rules and therefore, it should not operate out of sight,
believed EPA has used CWM’s actions in the past to make it appear
the Agency was making progress (224). Another speaker believed
this test burn was a chance given CWM to bail out following
previous failures (265).
“Public trust and confidence is universally recognized as
the principal obstacle to public acceptance of siting hazardous
waste facilities...we fail to see how the applicant’s record
engenders public trust and confidence, nor does EPA’S

insensitivity reflect well on EPA’s understanding of hazardous
waste siting” (287).
5. Integrity of applicant
While many commenters were simply shocked that EPA would
consider such an applicant as CWM, a few specifically tackled the
issue of the permit review process itself and decided
environmental compliance is an appropriate consideration in
determining the acceptability of the permit applicant
(298) (226) (304) (256) (283) (433).
One cominenter believed that, whether it is equitable or not,
applicants who have been convicted of or are being prosecuted
for environmental violations should be denied permits (1261).
Integrity should be considered a criterion for receiving a
permit, said another (1626).
Several cornmenters felt that proof of the company’s
competence was a valid issue in the permitting process and
believed that CWM’s record did not make it a good candidate for
scientific research (433)(518).
One conunenter disagreed with EPA’s grounds for not reviewing
applicant’s history in the permitting process, saying that EPA
does have the authority to review integrity under the Ocean
Dumping Regulations, which explicitly allow a consideration of
the applicant’s ability to manage a disposal site (296). A
commenter who thought EPA might be correct in deciding the law
didn’t consider an applicant’s history a proper criterion, still
registered concern that residents near the waste loading site
would be affected by a repeat violater (322).
6. Applicant’s technical capability .
Aside from matters of social responsibility, several
cominenters doubted CWM’s ability to follow good scientific
practices or handle advanced technology (1620)(289)(269). One of
the more vehement remarks was that the company basically
understood landfills and nothing more, that it was a tough
business competitor in a rough market and emphatically not a high
tech company (278). Another cominenter disagreed, pointing out
that CWM practices many hazardous waste disposal technologies
including land—based incineration and biological treatment, and
is starting a plasma arc (330).
“Chem Waste has proven itself to be an inappropriate
candidate to conduct ocean incineration by its failures during
previous burns and its lack of skills at the much simpler tasks
of waste disposal on land....Chem Waste is categorically not the
company to do the research” (283).

Remarking that research depends upon exacting levels of good
recordkeeping, one commenter recommended against choosing CWM
because the company seemed to be plagued with recordkeepirig
problems (38). On the contrary, another comrnenter thought that
CWM might do well with the work under the research permit because
it would be carefully watched and controlled at all points, but
should not be permitted to operate any less well—supervised
program such as a commercial operation (318).

1. General comments on the appropriate liability limits
The public tended to think in terms of covering the worst
case. Many commenters think the liability limits should be set
to cover catastrophic events: a train derailment affecting
several cars, a shipwreck with loss of entire cargo, a major
spill, or a dump when the life and safety of the crew are at
stake (340)(1246)(429).
Many cornrnenters thought that $60 million was not an adequate
demonstration of financial responsibility to cover probable
losses if a spill did occur (469)(886)(897). One comnienter
warned against any plans to reduce the financial responsibility
at EPA’s discretion as authorized under section 234.10 of the
proposed Ocean Incineration Regulation (126). This cominenter
thought that amount set should be approved by a responsible third
party (126). One commenter thought that the permit manager
should definitely be involved in setting the amount (469).
Another com!nenter thought that EPA might be considering changing
the amount to only $5 million as required for vessels regulated
by CERCLA and objected strongly (911). Several comnienters
suggested that legislation should be developed to forestall
inadequate insurance or difficulties in making claims for damages
(1605) (500) (351) (352) ( 502) (297).
Slight support existed for requiring much lower limits on
financial responsibility (472)(l268). One cominenter observed
that $60 million is punitively high compared to the requirements
for land—based incineration and imposed an arbitrary disincentive
to using ocean incineration (1268). This commenter claimed the
figure for cleanup costs —- $10 million —— was inappropriately
derived form a worst—case scenario for a clean up in Mobile Bay.
Another cominenter, however, said the cleanup cost could vary
widely: since the waste is only slightly heavier than water but
hydrophobic it is uncertain whether a spill would sink or
float -- if it sunk the costs would be extremely high,
particularly if restoration costs and third party damages are
considered in addition to clean up (1255). Some comznenters noted
that in 1983 special permits, CWM evidently was able to obtain
$350 million in liability insurance coverage (1255)(886).
One of the conirnenters arguing for lower financial
responsibility limits also complained that EPA’s high limits did
not account for the extreme safety precautions taken in this
ocean incineration project (1268). Stating that the risks to
human health and safety were 30 to 50 times greater for land
incineration than for ocean incineration, this conunenter wondered
what justified EPA’S decision to set financial responsibility
5 times as high as for land incineration.

As for the amount required to cover resource damages, the
same cormneriter asserted that simply imposing the maximum
allowable under section 106 (c) of CERCLA was not a responsible
approach on EPA ’s part (1268). The cominenter cited Puerto Rico
v. Co].ocatroni in which the court held that the appropriate
measure for determining resource damage was the cost of restoring
the environment to prespill conditions or the cost of acquiring
offsetting resources if restoration were disproportionately
expensive. In the case cited, the court rejected claims for the
cost of replacing marine organism that would eventually replace
Finally, one cominenter suggested that EPA should have CWM
waive its rights to the liability limits imposed by applicable
regulations so that higher amounts could be agreed upon (1626).
A few cominenters believed that the coverage for tinitank was
also too low and suggested it be raised (201).
2. What should be covered ?
A consensus developed for covering at least the full amount
of emergency cleanup, containment, and recovery (886)(l246)(l262)
(3)(340). In addition, commenters also thought other damages
should be covered: compensation to the seafood industry for any
losses (470); related damages to wetlands, underwater lands,
beaches, and other State resources (340); medical bills for
citizens exposed to the chemicals (224); an additional $50
million for environmental cleanup (1264); any damage caused
(3)(l261); losses to private citizens (351).
A few commenters realized that claims by third parties
and private citizens were not directly addressed and would like
this area more clearly stipulated (129). One corninenter stated
that if only a $50 million bond were to be required and that was
not an actual cash deposit “it would require extraordinary legal
effort to get that money.” (333) Others said that private
citizens, who were not afforded protection from spill losses,
would find it extremely difficult to recover; many legal hurdles
would have to be overcome (35l)(l255). How insurance could be
collected from a vessel under a foreign flag, worried another
conimenter (129).
One coinmeriter noted that setting financial responsibility
limits lower than potential claims seriously undermines the
principal of “polluter pays” (1255). The costs of a spill might
go uncompensated or be paid for by the government once the limits
are reached, unfairly subsidizing the polluter (1255).
4. Mechanism used to assure financial responsibility
Most commenters used the term “insurance” to discuss

financial liability, and that mechanism seems to be well
regarded; few cominenters suggested any other mechanism. One
comxnenter who thought a bond was to be used, wanted to be sure it
was backed by cash (333). Another asked that a corporate
guarantee with or without insurance be used (1268). An opposing
point of view expressed concern that self insurance would not
provide the necessary degree of security required by the public
for its own safety (1255).
One commenter, recognizing the probable difficulty of
obtaining insurance to cover such large amounts, suggested the
Federal Government should act as an insurer. The commenter
pointed out that since the government does this already for
natural disasters such as floods over which we have no control,
it should be able to insure an ocean incineration program over
which we do have a lot of control (331). Another, claimed that
the government was already involved by default —— that when a
claim occurred of such magnitude that the company at fault
could not cover all costs, the burden then fell on State, local,
and Federal governments to recompense damage (1246). One
commenter said the insurance industry would not write liability
for hazardous waste transport in amounts covering full indemnity
(328). If the insurance cannot be obtained in amounts that would
cover the real costs of a spill, said one conunenter, then we
should accept the fact that ocean incineration is not a viable
alternative (1261).
One comntenter thought insurance could only be obtained in
less than $60 million amounts and not obtainable at all with the
provisions that EPA had specified (1268). Another cominenter said
that extremely high amounts of insurance would have to be
provided by the Federal government, with the note that part of
the government’s responsibility was to avoid permitting unproven
technologies that risked such costly environmental damage (328).
A cominenter took exception to CWM’s assertion that the
insurance requirement should be lowered since even $60 million
was difficult to obtain. That problem, said this coininenter,
should have been resolved beforehand (425).
One conunenter suggested an alternative to regular insurance
in the form of a corporate guarantee because liability insurance
for hazardous waste handling is extremely difficult to obtain arid
the premiums are so prohibitively high (1268)(472). This
guarantee would hinge on Waste Management’s financial strength,
which would be verified through Waste Management’s quarterly
reports to the securities and Exchange Commission. If Waste
Management’s assets were to drop by 50 percent, the company wotld
notify EPA immediately arid cease operation until another
mechanism for assuring its financial responsibility could
be found (472). This commenter pointed out that section 108
(a)(l) of CERCLA expressly authorizes the use of guarantees,
surety bonds, and qualification as a self—insurer, and insurance,
in any combination to assure financial responsibility. If EPA

insists that part of CWN’s obligation be met through insurance,
the conunenter suggested that the amount of insurance should be
limited to $2 million. The legal basis for this corporate
guarantee can be found in U.S . v. Westinghouse , and the
commenter paraphrased the wording in this case as a suggested way
to draw up a mutually agreeable financial test. The colnmenter
suggested that some insurance would be available through a P&I
association (1268).
Another coinmenter called this proposal ‘a sham,’ saying the
underwriter had added several unacceptable conditions and
exclusions. These included a provision that no claims would be
covered while acting as an ocean incinerator; that spills were
only covered while in “the designated area’; and that it excluded
coverage for noncombustibles. The last provision means that no
claims would be covered for the PCB’s themselves, the heavy
metals in the waste, or for products of incomplete combustion
found in the emissions. Further, the policy ends February 20,
1986 (1246).
One corninenter submitted a detailed analysis of several
possible mechanisms and including an assessment of their
availability (1268). The comrnenter recommended a new financial
test to assess a company’s ability to pay that could be used
under both the self insurance and guarantee mechanisms. This
test is based on the “Beaver Index” which the cominenter called
one of the most accurate predictors of bankruptcy or corporate
viability since it measures cash flow —— the ability to generate
income to pay bills and remain in business (1268). The formula
suggested is:
CF — (FR) * (1—t)
= >0.1
where CF cash flow from operations (net income -f
depreciation + depletion + amortization + deferred taxes)
FR = financial responsibility
t margin for taxes
TL = total liabilities
The cominenter points out that this formula allows more
companies to pass the financial responsibility test but assures
that several safety features from the two original options remain
intact -- namely a current ratio greater than 1 (assets divided
by liabilities), investment grade rating for most recent bonds,
tangible net worth of $10 million or greater, and U.S. assets at
least 6 times liability coverage or 90 percent of total assets.
In brief, this cornrnenter’s review of all mechanisms follows:
(1) Insurance: An EPA-drafted endorsement would be
unacceptable to insurers because it violates several long—honored

insurance practices:
o requiring the insurer to pay on behalf of the insured
even if unallowable claims would be reimbursed by the
insured is not acceptable —— the insurance industry operates
on the principal of indemnification.
o the requirement to pay all sums assessed regardless
of circumstances is clearly unsound —— no insurance company
would pay in the face of overdue premiums, bankruptcy of the
insured, or misrepresentations made in obtaining the policy.
o the coverage could extend beyond areas P&I
associations normally handle such as barge operation or
interim storage
o the requirement for service of suit and determination
of liability under U.S. law restricts the potential
insurers to only one P&I association. P&I associations
normally follow British law. &i associations are the usual
means for insuring sea transport and are acceptable to the
Coast Guard under section 311 (p) of the Clean Water Act.
(2) Self insurance: The cominenter believes ability to pay is
a better measure than the 6 times multiple requirement in Options
1 and 2 of RCRA 264.147 (f). The formula is given above.
(3) Guarantees and corporate guarantees: Arguments are the
same as those for self insurance with one addition. The
coxnmenter believes that EPA should also permit guarantees by
third parties.
(4) Surety bonds: These are not viable since they are
generally unavailable and prohibitively costly. If a surety bond
could be had for this research it would cost $300,000 to $600,000
a year. This is a purely administrative cost that does not
involve any transfer of risk and is therefore quite unattractive.
Moreover, issuers limit the term of coverage so that claims
arising more than a year from date of issue would not be
effectively covered.
(5) Letter of credit: This would be a last resort. It is a
costly option (about $600,000 for a $60 million demonstration of
financial responsibility). If RCR.A language were amended to
incorporate indemnification some banks might issue such a letter,
otherwise they would not.
5. Statutory basis
See Chapter VI (Legal Issues) for the discussion of the
statutory basis for setting the amount of financial
responsibility the applicant must demonstrate.

1. Toxicity and other hazards
Many cominenters objected to burning PCB waste on the grounds
that the ocean environment, air, and people along the way should
not be subjected to a known toxic and carcinogen (454).
Disagreement exists, however, over whether PCB’s are more
dangerous to burn or to store on land. One commenter believed
that PCB’s were ideal for the research burn because their
carcinogenic threat came about through long exposure: if left in
the environment they are extremely harmful, but they are not an
acute toxic if inhaled (323). In support, another commenter
noted that PCB’s are not among the 31 potentially severe
inhalation hazards recently listed by the Department of
Transportation for special transportation provisions (330).
Others suggested that less toxic chemicals should be used
for the test (50l)(316). Estimates of harmful amounts differed,
with one comrnenter stating that PCB’s in concentrations of 10 ppm
could cause cancer, birth defects, melanomas, and chloracne
(243). Another commenter said they were toxic in parts per
quadrillion (316).
One comznenter said that no chemicals that are hazardous
because of corrosivity should be used in this burn because the
ship’s tanks are made of low—carbon steel (1275).
2. Bioaccunnilation and bioconcentration
Whether or not PCB’s are slow—acting toxicants or acutely
dangerous, several corninenters pointed out a related issue that
would have long—term effects: the tendency of PCB’s to
bioaccurnulate and to bioconcentrate. One conunenter pointed out
that a leak into the Delaware could migrate into the Chesapeake
Bay via canal, subjecting fisheries and wetlands in both coastal
areas to these long—term effects (38).
Several potential effects on marine animals and ultimately
man worried coinmenters. One pointed out that even low
concentrations of PCB’s in the water could cause considerable
harm to fish and the other aquatic organisms that take up a high
share of the PCB’s (319). Another commenter put the lifetime
risk of cancer from eating contaminated fish at 100 times the
risk from drinking contaminated water (351). Other comnienters
stated that contaminated fish are a significant source of breast
milk contamination in humans and some birth defects (l29)(227).
One of these comirienters quoted a Senate committee statement that
uSecond generations are believed to be at a higher risk since
fetuses and nursing infants may consume more PCB’s per unit of
body weight than adults.” (227) Another conunenter wondered

whether the U.S. Navy Yard in Philadelphia had been consulted on
their toxicity findings from flora and fauna samples in the
Atlantic Ocean (336). That commenter suggested that traces of
PCB’s found a thousand miles out from U.S. and European shores
might be attributable “to Europe and England’s 17 year history of
incinerating hazardous wastes at sea.” (336)
In the event of a spill, the Coast Guard could not assure
adequate cleanup and therefore such chemicals should never be
treated in the aquatic environment, stated one commenter (129).
Another commenter noted that, in spills, PCB’s sink to the
bottom and from there enter the food chain (291). And another
observed that PCB’s rate of biodegradation is “insignificant”
and, therefore, whatever contaminants disappear from the water
and local biota could be expected to end up in the bottom
sediment (319). Even a small release was counted a threat:
“These are the most bioaccumulative substances we produce...the
most persistent, the most toxic....” (249)
3. Appropriateness of the waste
Aside from health effects, it is questionable to many
people what, exactly, is to be gained from incinerating a waste
so unlike most of the wastes we normally treat. A few asked why
choose a waste that represented only a small portion of the
US, waste stream (590)(38)(39). Another comnienter suggested
that the test was too easy, that the test should run a worst—case
sample, not an ideal (590).
Several comxnenters suggested that the results from this test
will be of limited value because the waste is nonrepresentative
(274)(296)(428)(1626)(39). The results from this test, claimed
one person, will be “limited to the effects of that particular
waste and cannot justify a full-scale program.” (39) Another
asked why this particularly toxic waste was chosen rather than a
more representative sample (351). Stating that the Sea-Burn
proposal was for a wider range of wastes, this one is for a
single type, one cornnienter questioned whether “the results of the
incineration of this waste be sufficiently valuable?” (272).
A more critical concern to one coinmenter was that by using
this relatively simple waste mixture, EPA is ignoring the fact
that a complex mixture of hazardous waste, when incinerated,
could recombine and reform into more toxic emissions than a
single group of PCB’s. This conunenter believed that EPA “cannot
possibly use the results of this burn to justify scientifically
an entire ocean incineration program” on the basis of this
waste (296).
Another objection to this waste is that by mixing the
PCB’s into fuel oil, this test could be expected to achieve more
complete and easier combustion than might be possible with other

mixtures (247). This comrneriter stated that if EPA arid CWI4
intended to prove the effectiveness of the incinerator to
destroy this waste, many would remain unconvinced. According
to the cornzneriter, a clean bill of health would have to come
through testing chemicals more difficult to destroy by
incineration (247). Others, however, believed that since PCB’s
were used as fire retardants, they would be difficult to burn
(42) (244).
If testing is the objective, suggested one cominenter,
it would be better done on land with a wider range of wastes
4. Other objections to the waste chosen
The public sees this chemical as a poor choice for a variety
of other reasons. One doubted that local emergency personnel
such as policemen and firefighters know how to handle spills and
leaks (215).
Some conuneriters thought that the technology itself was
unproven; therefore, this was too dangerous a chemical to
experiment with (130)(35l). Another recommends afterburners
oriboard ship to offset the risk of producing dioxins (from art
incomplete combustior i)(244).
Some commenters objected to the heavy metals allowances
(35)(469). One pointed out that if each of the eight metals
allowed in up to 500 ppm were actually present in their maximum
allowable concentrations, the waste could contain over 4,000 ppm
of heavy metals (35). The comznenter recommends revising the
One conuneriter asked that the “heating value” of the
auxiliary fuel be specified in meaningful terms, perhaps by
flammability and vapor point (469).
Some cominenters requested that States be given complete
information on the waste, including whether any were subject to
court orders and the results of analyses (35)(274).
One coxninenter said that all chemicals listed in 40 CFR Part
261 Appendix VIII should have analytical data (1275).
Another commenter said there were difficulties with the
detection limits for some waste components (1268). In practice,
it is very difficult to detect less 2 ppm of BHC, BCT, and
PCT the commenter said, and this limit ought to be raised. As
for 2,3,7,8-TCDD, the limit should be 5 ppm the cominenter
believes because that level can be detected by conventional
analytic procedures and is the limit WMI is authorized to handle
in its Belgian permit (1268). Using only one incinerator might

preclude detection of emissions just below the threshold of
detectability, another cornrnenter added (469).
The same cominenter noted that since virgin fuel oil would
be used, there is no need to analyze the content of the auxiliary
fuel oil. Another group of components that are not necessary to
measure are the metals aluminum, tin, and iron, since there are
no limits on the amounts present and therefore no need for this
information (1268).
Each tank of waste on the incineration vessel should be
uniquely identified and manifested said one commenter (469).
Blending of the wastes should be allowed only at points clearly
specified by the permit, the same cominenter suggested (469).
5. Amount of waste —- Is it research ?
A suspicion that over 700,000 gallons constitutes a
commercial burn disguised as research appears frequently
(342)(137)(355)(1626). Cominenters believed that a “test” is done
on a small scale under carefully controlled conditions to
minimize and virtually eliminate risk (334). As another
cominenter observed, a trial burn should be restricted to the
smallest amount of hazardous waste sufficient to serve research
purposes -— otherwise, the research is as risky as commercial
operation (340). The vessel should only carry the amount of
waste actually required to conduct the research burn, said
another cominenter (469).
Many people perceive that the amount of waste to be burned
is related to the amount that CWM has to get rid of under an EPA
agreement and believe that CW? is getting a special deal: As one
commenter charged, “This is not a test situation. This is the
real thing....a subterfuge allowing Chem Waste to get rid of a
volume of wastes it finds too hot to handle.” (337)
6. Other reasons that smaller amounts should be used
In addition to questioning whether this was really research,
a few cominenters simply stated that less volume would do
(35)(328). A suggestion was to limit the total amount burned
based on the most persistent chemicals involved (1277).
Some comxnenters pointed out that a volume of this magnitude
decidedly concentrates the risk and any harm to the environment
in one spot (899)(501). As an alternative to incinerating so
much at once, another comineriter suggested treating small batches
at a time (246).
7. The amount is safe

A commenter offered several calculations that show minimal
impacts from this volume of waste. Incineration of the whole
load would release a maximum of .013 gallons of PCB’s per day,
equivalent of 1.55 tablespoons a day (1268).
8. Additional comments in other sections
Many commenters referred to the appropriateness of the
volume indirectly while discussing transportation issues
(chapters VII and X), storage (chapter VIII), or the contingency
plan (chapter IX). See those chapters as well. Many commenters
simply quoted the amount without commenting on whether it was too
much or too little for this test.

1. Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act and the
London Dumping Convention
The Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA) and
P.L. 96-572 regulate U.S. ocean dumping activities (1255). As
a signatory nation to the London Dumping Convention, the U.S. is
obligated to comply with convention requirements in its domestic
Many cominenters believe that the research burn does not
comply with LDC requirements (1324)(1255)(1261). (See the
discussion of practicable alternatives in chapter II.) Some
commenters argue that EPA has not satisfactorily established that
a “need” for ocean incineration of PCB’s exists as the LDC
requires (296)(306). Need must be established for a research
permit (1255).
MPRSP sets several standards for assessing a research
permit, including that the dumping is necessary to test new
technology or establish the environmental acceptability of the
process, said one cominenter (1255). This commenter claimed
that land-based testing needs to precede ocean testing for the
Administrator to demonstrate that ocean testing is necessary. In
addition, the Act requires the Administrator to determine whether
the test will unreasonably degrade or endanger human health,
welfare, amenities, or the marine environment, ecological systems
or economic potentialities. The Administrator has not done so,
this cominenter claimed.
The same comntenter noted that the proposed dumping should be
scaled to pose minimal adverse impact on human health, the
environment, or economic potentialities. The cominenter disagrees
with EPA’s contention that, based on destruction efficiency,
little waste will actually enter the environment. The commenter
states that P lC’s might include substances even more toxic than
the original waste stream and that “EPA simply does not know”
what the possible impacts are (1255). Finally, the cominenter
stated that the Administrator must consult with the Secretary of
Commerce to determine that the research’s potential benefits
outweigh the potential harm. No such finding is possible without
sound scientific that the environmental impact would be minimal,
said the conunenter, especially not without preliminary land-based
testing (1255).
One comznenter maintained that releasing emissions to the
marine environment constitutes “dumping” (1324). The LDC
prohibits dumping organohalogens at sea unless they are rapidly
rendered nontoxic and rapidly rendered harmless by
physical/chemical/biological processes in the sea (1255).

( :ominenter claims that the permit application is
incom -- it does not provide all the background information
on the ste to be incinerated that is required under Special
Provision 3 Ce) of the proposed permit (1255). This information
includes where and how the waste originated, how it has been
disposed of previously, a statement of disposal alternatives and
recycling possibilities considered, environmental impacts of the
proposed dumping, and effects of dumping on the environment,
navigation, marine resources, recreation, and other uses of the
ocean. Because the applicant has not provided the required
information, the application is incomplete and a determination of
need cannot be made, the commenter said (1255).
Features of the North Atlantic Incineration Site do not
fulfill section 228.4 (d) of the Ocean Dumping Regulations, one
coinmenter claimed. In particular, the proximity of the 106—Mile
dump site renders the Incineration Site unsuitable for its
proposed purpose - - research -- since waste streams from both
sites could comingle (1255). (Additional objections to this site
are covered in chapter XII).
The same commenter claimed that section 227.17 requires an
environmental impact statement be done on transport and transfer
phases of the proposed research, which EPA has not performed
The commenter also stated that subpart E of the Ocean
Dumping Regulations lists a number of ocean uses that must be
evaluated. These uses include commercial and recreational
activities. The existing environmental impact statement did
consider some of these uses, but not all, and therefore is not
adequate. The conimenter suggests that a supplemental EIS must be
done to complete the site assessment (1255).
Section 227 of the Ocean Dumping Regulations also prohibits
disposing of organohalogens at sea unless they are rapidly
rendered harmless (1324). To date, EPA has not characterized
emissions from PCB incineration adequately to determine that
stack emissions will be rapidly rendered harmless, says one
cominenter (1255).
2. National Environmental Policy Act of 1969
One commenter cited the National Environmental Policy Act
(NEPA) in drawing the conclusion that an environmental impact
study should not be voluntary, that NEPA required it (1255).
Many commenters thought an impact study should be done to
update the 1981 EIS on the site and to evaluate the effects of
the research on the site (320)(27l)(273)(l255). The existing EIS
does not consider the effects of loading the waste at the port,
transporting the waste through the Delaware Bay, or shipping it
140 miles to the site (1255).

3. Coastal Zone Planageaent Act
Regarding the Coastal Zone Management Act coordination with
affected states, one comnienter supported Maryland’s request to
review the research burn (1255). Another commenter said that
Pennsylvania and Delaware have concurred that it meet consistency
requirements with their States’ programs and New Jersey has
announced that it will follow suit (1268). This commenter
opposed Maryland’s request and NOAA’s decision to grant a
review. This commenter objected to NOAA’s grounds that states
may review on the basis of effects to their coastal zones and
that this transport of hazardous waste is a new event that
potentially affects Maryland. The disapproving coininenter’s
grounds for opposing this review were that the event was not
new: it had been done in Europe and the Gulf of Mexico before.
Besides, said the corninenter, ICF, Inc. had prepared a local model
predicting that the Maryland coast would be little affected if at
4. Endangered Species Act
Many coininenters believe that the requirements of the
Endangered Species Act have not been met (1255)(296). Doubt over
the existence of endangered species in the area or passing
through it is substantial, and, therefore, EPA should request a
formal consultation with the Secretary of Interior (296)(l255).
Although the Act exempts Federal Agencies from formal
consultation if they determine their activities will not harm
endangered species, these contmenters said that EPA does not have
enough information on the site to make a valid determination that
endangered species will not be harmed (1255).
One commenter claims that NOAA’s letter decision, based on
the destruction efficiency of the incineration and the lin.ited
duration of the test, that endangered species will not be
affected is unsound. First, the test is being run to prove that a
99.9999 percent destruction efficiency can be achieved. The
“expected” DE, therefore is not a reliable factor in determining
the effect of the research (1255).
The commenter also worried that whales or turtles surfacing
directly behind the incinerator ship could come into direct
contact with the emissions plume under some weather conditions
For additional comments on endangered species, see chapter
5. Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA )
One comnienter is concerned that the proposed research does

not meet the most stringent standards under the Toxic Substances
Control Act (TSCA)(1255). The conunenter objects to EPA’s use of
destruction removal efficiency to waive dwell time requirements
in the incinerator. Since the research is being conducted to
assess destruction efficiency, that measure is not appropriate to
justify a waiver of dwell time, the commenter says (1255).
The commenter also believes that the Vulcanus should use a
scrubber as TSCA requires for incinerators under section 761,70
(a)(9). (1255)
6. Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA )
Many coinmeriters referred to RCRA regulations in the
discussion of financial responsibility requirements. See chapter
IV for those comments.
One commenter listed several RCRA regulations that apply to
the proposed research burn and suggested that these sections be
incorporated to the permit (1255). Part 264 of RCRA specifically
states that ‘ t these part 264 regulations do apply to treatment or
storage of hazardous waste before it is loaded to an ocean vessel
for incineration or disposal at sea,’ t the coinmenter noted. The
EPA should assess what sections apply to any permit it issues
under the Ocean Dumping Regulations and incorporate them, but for
this permit the cornmenter suggested the sections 264.11 —-
Identification Number; 264.71 —— Use of Manifest System; 264.72
—— Manifest Discrepancies; 264.73 (a) and (b) Operating Record;
and 264.76 —— Unmanifested Waste Report.
The conunenter also suggests that ocean incineration vessels
should use the same air pollution control devices required under
RCRA for land—based incinerators (1255).
7. Permit revocation or changes
Since the purpose of this project is research, the failure
of some conditions would totally negate the usefulness of the
burn and should trigger a permit revocation one commenter stated
(1255). Failure to keep adequate records or any condition that
would result in not meeting research objectives should cause the
permit to be revoked (1255). This cominenter added that the
performance standards had been set to safeguard human health and
the environment and therefore must absolutely be followed ‘ tto the
letter. ’ t Another cominenter was bothered that the permit appeared
to allow the permittee to judge whether changes in conditions
called for a reworking of the permit (469). If EPA is to be the
judge, the permit should state so clearly the commenter thought

1. Spill risk
Many coininenters are alarmed about the possibility of a spill
enroute from Alabama to the Unitank terminal; they see it
an immediate and direct threat to their lives, their health,
their prosperity, and the environment (16)(30)(43)(47)(126)(352)
(370)(911) (1244)(1258)(1262)(1277)(].336)(1340). Commenters point
out that the risk of a spill multiplies with each transfer of
the waste and every step that requires additional handling
(204)(340)(491)(466)(38). This risk also rises with the length
of the route (337).
Both rail and truck transport are risky to many
cominenters: one stated that both rail and vehicle convoys are
“frequently” involved in spills (342). One commenter said over
10,000 hazardous waste spills occurred last year (38). Train
derailment is the more pronounced worry with the commenters
(204)(575)(1244)(17). One observed that an aging rail
infrastructure cannot support hazardous waste traffic through
residential area safely (42). One conunenter cited NOAA
statistics for the Philadelphia area during the last ten years
(201). These figures indicated 256 significant pollution
incidents, including 17 spills of 10,000 gallons or more (201).
Most of the spills occurred via truck, but, between 1977 and
1983, 131 significant rail incidents occurred; 17 of those were
derailments and corresponding leaks (201). Several commenters
underscored the imminence of this threat with the note that a
derailment of five cars did in fact occur just outside the
Unitank terminal on Feb. 3, 1986 (575)(1257)(1244)(l257).
Another comineriter, however, pointed out that Unitank itself had
safely handled 200 million gallons of bulk liquids and 10,000
rail cars per year (1268).
A commenter noted that CW1 1 had eight specially designed
rail cars for carrying this waste that included superior safety
features such as 11/16 inch steel shell instead of 9/16 inch,
double shelf couplers to reduce switching accidents, steel head
shelves to strengthen the ends of cars against puncture, thermal
insulation that reduced the risk to contents from an outside
fire, and no bottom valves that can be damaged or tampered with
and result in a spill (341).
The rail carrier is suspect to some members of the public.
CSX is not trusted by locals already, alleged one comxnenter
(332). Another cominenter claimed that CSX would not be the
carrier, Seaboard would be (341). In response to that, a
commeriter stated that it was one and the same: Seaboard is part
of CSX, because CSX is a holding company formed by the merger of
the Seaboard and Chessie Systems; and further, CSx’s record is
very poor. This cominenter alleged that CSX accounts for 9.8

percent of all Class I Railroad miles, yet is responsible for 21
percent of the cars damaged in accidents and 38 percent of the
people who had to be evacuated because of rail accidents (344).
Regarding truck safety, one commenter stated that the truck
haul would be used only from the Emelle Bite to rail, completely
within the State of Alabama, and would not constitute a grave
risk because CWM’s safety record is excellent: only .42 incidents
per million miles. By comparison, said this co=enter, DOT
reports an average of 1.21 accidents per million miles for motor
carriers (341).
Land based incineration is seen as bringing shorter routes
and therefore running less risk of a spill (1284)(l29l)(1298).
3. Length of the haul
Many commenters questioned why take waste so far, when
plenty is to be had nearby, and why bypass closer ports
(334)(368)(989). If removing the waste from Emelle is the
object, it seemed more logical to some that a closer port should
have been picked (8)(342). Shipping the wastes from Emelle to
Philadelphia is surely not economical, one commenter noted,
estimating that this plan would require 120 tank loads traveling
more than 1,000 miles each for a cost of at least $360,000;
taking the same volume of wastes to a Gulf port would cost about
$72,000 (985). Two cominenters thought it would be quite
advisable for EPA to give some study to more sensible options
(350) (353)
The length of the haul appears to increase the danger of an
accident in the eyes of the public (561). It also seems
unnecessary to those comxnenters who believe that a more
appropriate expenditure of effort would be to promote portable
technologies such as a chemical conversion process developed by
SOHIO that can be taken directly to the site (42)(337).
4. Routing
Strong public objection exists to taking the hazardous
wastes through some of the most densely populated areas of the
United States (8)(20)(29)(45)(988). Residents in Philadelphia
and surrounding communities promised to fight this plan
(464)(1257)(506). Other residents noted that their streets were
narrow, old, and in bad repair, and that a spill could occur in
areas least equipped to handle emergencies (44)(415)(997).
Possible truck transport in the area seemed extremely dangerous
to some; one commenter pointed out that travel on 1—95 will face
tremendous traffic on a route already plagued with spills (24).
A coinmenter pointed out that CWM’S backup plan for
transportation if rail did not work out would take the wastes via
truck along the Schuykill Expressway; this route is under

construction and will be for some time to come —— stopping in
emergencies could be impossible since whole stretches allow no
place to pull over. Getting emergency response or repair
equipment in would be exceedingly difficult (201).
4. Do a risk assessment first
Several commenters thought it either irresponsible that the
Emelle to Philadelphia route was chosen without a formal risk
assessment preceding it, or that a risk assessment would reveal
the folly of this plan (131)(38)(lB)(435). EPA should do a
comprehensive multimedia review including planning for the
worst—case accident, said one comrnenter (435). Endorsement of
ocean incineration hinged upon safe transportation said another
cominenter (50).
5. Logistics
The proposed method of transport inherently increased risk,
said one comrnenter. Plans to move two rail cars at a time would
result in 14-16 trips from Alabama to the Unitank terminal.
According to EPA’s own Science Advisory Board, noted this
cominenter, the risk of transportation accidents would be raised
because risk increases with frequency (38).
Coordination is another problem (332). Working out
emergency response maneuvers and responsibilities with local
authorities and sharing information were extremely important
concerns to several cominenters who also expressed concern that
State and local agencies were not substantively involved in
planning (332)(204)(268)(274). One corninenter wondered what
precautions would be taken to notify local emergency response
teams (204). One cornmenter claimed that Delaware County was not
made privy to any analysis that “assures us that any course of
action can be taken without having these products go through the
Delaware Valley — Philadelphia region” (268). Another coimnenter
requested that State and local authorities be given control of
the storage and transportation of hazardous materials within
their jurisdictions because “the Federal government is not close
enough to the danger to be concerned...The people need input into
matters affecting their health, safety, and welfare.” (322)
6. Risk a e]ioration
Many comznenters suggested that transportation is a major
obstacle to public acceptance of ocean incineration (131). The
principal recomntendation for reducing risk was to reduce the
transport (1261). Commenters advised shipping the waste to a
closer port (322). One cominenter said it would be better for
each State to handle its own wastes and not import those of
others (274). Other coimnenters favored land—based incineration

with its shorter transportation routes (415) or bringing
portable incinerators directly to the waste site (1340)(1244).
Another frequent suggestion is that hazardous wastes be
moved through areas of low population density (45)(361). Some
commenters also suggested that a thorough risk assessment should
including establishing procedures for cleanup and recovery should
be done before the waste is hauled (38)(18).
These comments are in addition to those already noted
under the section on spill risk.

1. spill risk
The feasibility of a spill at the storage site or in the
port itself is counted very high (30)(265)(276)(320)(575). Many
object to the risk they say storage and loading will impose upon
residents and resources (43)(44). Coiunenters estimate that the
harm of a spill in the Delaware estuary would be very widespread
and would put the whole area in jeopardy (6)(28)(435). Travel to
the open waters of the Atlantic would also pass down the New
Jersey coastline and put it at risk (273).
One corninenter had asked the Coast Guard what the response
time would be to a spill at the Allegheny Wharf and learned by a
letter response that it would be immediate, the Coast Guard would
be on site (19). Even so, said another cominenter, the Coast
Guard has allegedly said that the risk of a spiii can be reduced,
but it can never be eliminated (129).
One corninenter suggests the Philadelphia Fire Department,
Police Department, Licenses and Inspections, Water Department,
and Health Department should be added to the list of agencies to
be notified in CWM’s contingency plan (201). Also, this
cominenter suggests a copy of the Vulcanus II plan should be given
to the fire department in case a fire should occur in the
Delaware River; the fire and water departments should be notified
when the ship is loaded or offloaded (201).
Since the traffic in the area’s streets is extremely
congested, another cornrnenter was concerned that firefighting
equipment might be delayed coming overland and wondered what
would happen in the event of a fire (224).
A few comrnenters find the safety measures to prevent
collisions and spills in the port too burdensome, particularly
the moving safety zone and diversion of oncoming ships (410)(14).
The section on port activity in this chapter elaborates on these
2. Site characteristics
Particular features of the port area especially concern many
people. Some comxnenters pointed out that the terminal lies in a
100—year floodplain and one called this location illegal (129).
The area abounds with chemical manufacturers, which one
cornmenter believes is the reason for unusually high cancer rates
through frequent exposures (8). Certainly this industry is
the source of complaints about odor problems (245). A resident
of Mayfair noted frequent problems from the Allied chemical plant

(267). The problems are not minor, they are extreme disturbances
to area residents and in some minds EPA’s regulatory changes are
at fault (990)(253)(243). Several cominenters cited past Unitank
practices such as loading acrylates when the odor control and
ventilation system was inoperative (36)(258)(206)(8)(206). One
conunenter elaborated, saying the company was aware of the
problem, loaded the chemical, paid the fine, and apologized, but
residents did not think that a company that place demurrage
costs above public health was a good company (8).
The Unitank terminal is one of many hazardous waste storage
sites in the Philadelphia area. One cominenter said the area had
270 sites: 84 of them in the Bridesburg, Port Richmond, Juanita,
Fishtown, Tacony, Frankford, Mayfair, and Wissirioniing sections.
One of these is a Superfund site, 4 are landfills, and 11 are
RCRA sites. The area also has 57 hazardous waste generators
according to this cornmenter (215).
Many commenters referred to the area’s unusually high cancer
rates (233)(243)(245)(250)(254)(258). One noted that “our
children have a high incidence of leukemia.” (277) Another said
that most senior citizens in the area have emphysema and lung
ailments and more children than usual have asthma and allergies
(232). One comrnenter submitted area surveys and cancer mortality
figures that showed a mortality rate in the year 1977-1978 of 507
deaths per 100,000 population; the expected rate would have been
380 deaths (8). This commenter pointed out that the area’s
average annual mortality rate was 349 deaths per 100,000
population compared to the citywide rate of 262. Among the
supporting documents this cominenter submitted, a map showed the
cancer rates by city tract. On this map, two tracts near the
Unitank terminal register averages of 353 deaths per 100,000 and
698 deaths per 100,000.
3. Port traffic and activity
While many corninenters expressed worries about safety, others
observed that the proposed moving safety zone would be extremely
disruptive to port activity (8)(221)(410). These commenters
pointed out that on the estuary, every vessel in the Vulcanus’
path would have to pull over and wait. One of the coininenters
said that since commercial vessels operate on extremely tight
schedules and the delays would prove very costly: the port
handled 2,821 oceangoing vessels in 1985 —- ships expecting
delays would most likely divert (410). If interruptions to
commercial traffic were to become routine, said another
commenter, shippers would begin to go elsewhere (8).
One conunenter pointed out that more, and purer hazardous
chemicals routinely pass through the Port of Philadelphia,
among them napthalene, liquid petroleum gas, ethyl acrylate,
butadene, carbon tetrachloride, and ethylene dichioride (285).
Another commenter said that even a full year’s routine operation

of an incineration ship would not equal what moved through U.S.
ports in a 2-week period (279). In rebuttal, a third commenter
claimed it was illogical to say that because the Delaware River
and Port of Philadelphia ship hazardous chemicals that Delaware
should accept waste with its long-term and severe environmental
consequences (340).
4. Drinking water contamination
Threats to drinking water supplies from spills or leaks
bother several cominenters (8)(244)(265) (453)(19). One cominenter
is concerned because the Unitank terminal is only 5 miles
upstream from the Northeast sewage treatment plant and discharges
from the plant are carried to the Baxter (Torresdale) plant where
they can enter the city’s drinking water (8). Other possible
routes for the wastes to enter city drinking water supplies are
via the terminal’s sewer line to the Northeast treatment plant
and directly from a spill into the Delaware since the dock is
only 1 mile downstream from the sewage treatment plant (8).
Another comznenter requested information from the Coast Guard and
was advised that a spill at Allegheny Wharf would not reach the
Torresdale water supply; although the spill would move toward
Torresdale during low flow, the ebb would move the spill further
downstream so the whole mass would travel cyclically downstream,
away from Torresdale and never reach closer that 2 miles from
Torresdale (19).
5. Facility record
Some cominenters complained that the Unitank terminal had
been the source of problems in the past (36)(258)(8)(256)(258).
One comineriter claimed the facility had periodic releases of
nauseating odors (258).
Others praised Unitank for being one of the best managed
facilities on the East Coast (239)(284)(235)(338). Commenters
claimed that Unitank had operated 30 years without incident in
handling bulk chemicals (239)(l323). The design of the facility
and the contingency plan impressed one of these comrnenters as
making the chance for a spill extremely remote (1323).
6. Siting decisions
Why this area was chosen or why it should not be chosen came
up several times. The reasons submitted in favor of the siting
included that the facility is the only one certified to handle
PCB’s under RCRA on the East Coast (320); that Philadelphia was
convenient to the North Atlantic incineration site and offered
an excellent chemical handler to store and load the wastes (290).

Those who opposed this siting had a variety of reasons.
Some thought that no decision should have been rendered until an
environmental impact statement including a study of
transportation could be completed and could show a positive
impact (201)(1255). One conunenter noted that the Bite Seemed to
be chosen because it was a convenient point for loading the
incineration vessel, which is not an adequate reason (469).
Another thought the choice of a freshwater port seemed a poor
one, and asked whether even a double hulled vessel could not
be intruded by another vessel or a river object (985). Were
other ports contemplated, particularly Wilmington? asked another
commenter (322). One commenter stated that the area could not
afford further air pollution (210). And one commenter said that
the financial gain to the companies involved did not consider the
loss to area residents in the form of lowered property values,
property losses, and rising insurance rates (259). The area,
said one commenter, has a long history of chemical spills, leaks,
and explosions (17). Another conunenter that a site such as this
in or over an aquifer is not acceptable (1277). In addition to
these, the sections above discuss interruptions to port activity,
threats to the drinking water, and the risk of a spill.
7. Safety measures
One corninenter stated that the permit should be strengthened
to read that the permit manger must” deny authority for loading,
not “may,” if the wastes do not met the permit requirements
(1255). This conunenter also thought that the permit did not make
divisions of responsibilities between the EPA and the Coast Guard
adequately clear -- who is in charge at this stage? (1255).
At the loading to incineration vessel, one conunenter pointed
out that a containment boom would be in place to hold any spill
that might occur (19). A conunenter said that the material
would be analyzed by EPA and piped directly to the vessel via a
dedicated pipe used exclusively for this project. This pipe
would be tested at two times the operating pressure before use
Another commenter listed several safety measures in use at
the terminal: dikes, above—ground storage, valves and collection
system to prevent pillage when transfer lines are disconnected,
above-ground piping to the storage area, fire prevention and
control systems, onsite security personnel and secure fencing,
and trained personnel (338).
One corninenter observed that the waste should not even come
to port until after all pilot research was completed and all
“fixed facilities” were approved (469).

8. Local Opposition
In addition to specific issues, several commenters went on
record mainly to say they oppose this plan (463)(352). One
commenter claimed to have collected 8,193 signatures (269). A
commonly expressed sentiment was that the residents of the area
had had quite enough abuse already with heavy industry nearby,
and abnormally high cancer rates, (22l)(222)(233)(247). One
commenter summed up the local pride at stake, saying that the
communities had already been working very hard to become better
places to live, “Please honor the wishes of our community” by
withdrawing the permit application. (996) In the same vein,
other conunenters noted that any harm caused by this test would
undo years of work by local residents on cleaning up the Delaware
River and revitalizinq the communities (255)(332)(998).

1. Adequacy of planning
The public response to CWM’s contingency plan ranged from
the commenter who had reviewed the plan and termed it Nquite
thorough” (35) to the commenter who called the plan completely
empty of any satisfactory precautions (216). Several cominenters
thought that no contingency plan had been prepared or revealed to
the public (38) (274) (280) (466) (588).
Comxnenters had several suggestions what should go into an
adequate contingency plan: an evacuation plan for residents and
vacationers (216)(223)280); advance coordination and
identification of responsibilities with state and local
governments (201)(351); notification to the seafood industry
(470); planning for the worst case scenario (271)(467); routes,
schedules, and procedures (201); extending the moving safety zone
beyond the Delaware memorial bridge (273).
One cornmeriter objected to using the Philadelphia Subregional
Oil and Hazardous Substance Contingency Plan, which was prepared
in October 1983, because it was outdated and asked that this be
updated before the research burn went into effect (273). An
additional suggestion from another conunenter was that the
contingency plan itself should be open to public review and
comment (1255). This cominenter also believed that estimated
response times, remedial equipment on the vessel, the most
probable areas of grounding or collisions, sensitive
environmental areas and how they would be protected should be
part of the formal contingency plan. Further, the permit and
contingency plan should reference all applicable Coast Guard
regulations for reporting spills (1255).
One conunenter believed that the proposed cleanup firms
should be approved by the EPA and Coast Guard (1261).
2. Personnel and equipsient
The readiness and competence of those who would be called
upon in an emergency is a very important issue to many
comznenters. Those who saw some burden falling upon local
agencies such as the fire and police departments doubted their
ability to handle this kind of emergency (35l)(353)(1258).
Several commenters are also firmly convinced that the Coast Guard
does not have the resources to clean up a spill and therefore
believe the research burn is a poor idea altogether
(30l)(327)(328)(425)(440)(473)(1255). CWN listed equipment arid
materials that can be used for spill cleanup, but one commenter
thought this was not convincing assurance that cleanup could be
achieved (319).

3. Effectiveness of a Cleanup Operation
Many commenters who believed that a spill would be
impossible to contain or retrieve cited a lack of technology
(307) (297) (474) (574) (1047).
The waste’s specific gravity of 1.03 would cause it to sink
and adhere to sediment particles, making cleanup increasingly
difficult, said some commenters (35). Even a requirement to give
the Coast Guard verbal notice of a jettisoning in life
threatening situations would not solve the problem, said one
cominenter, because a situation like that would probably happen in
a storm when it would be impossible to contain an oil slick
(425). Another commenter pointed out that a captain can dump his
load when his ship and the lives of his crew are in danger (4 4)•
Another commenter suggested jettisoning to save the crew,
especially if they were in the water or in lifeboats would be at
even greater risk of exposure to the PCB’s. Vessel could
possibly be salvaged later and even if the tanks were cracked, it
is likely less harm would be done by leaks at the bottom of the
ocean (469). This cominenter suggested that planning include
large pipes for offloading the waste in an emergency (469).
4. Response time
Whether cleanup crews can get to work fast enough concerns
the public (223). One comrnertter referred to a spill of only 250
gallons that took 1 week to assess, 2 weeks to bring in equipment
and 6 weeks to finish -— this was too slow the cominenter
suggested (319). This comnienter also noted that 8 percent of the
PCB’s were left in the river. Another conunenter said the problem
is the distance equipment must move (320). When the Grand Eagle
spill occurred, the closest oil skimmer vessels were hundreds of
miles away -- also too slow for responding to PCB’s (320).

1. The risk of a spill on water
Numerous comxnenters believe the risk of a spill somewhere in
the ocean is formidable. Several thought the ocean environment
too hostile for the prolonged stay this test would require
(334)(474). As one person put it, uwe are familiar with our
neighbor, the North Atlantic Ocean, and we have found her to be
unforgiving of human error.” (55) Some conui enters thought that
the ship’s motion during the incineration would only increase the
possibility of an accidental release; the chances for human and
mechanical error increase dramatically at sea (1261).
Some corninenters quoted an estimate that 70 percent of all
spills occur in coastal waters (38)(351)(352)(353). One
comnienter observed that strong tidal currents at the entrance of
the C&D canal in the Delaware Bay are a particularly hazardous
area (12). Navigational errors seemed a likely source of mishap
to several comrnenters (1000)(l607)(l264)(265). Many conunenters
pointed out that the Delaware River’s shoals are notorious and
have always made this watercourse particularly difficult to
navigate (55)(160) (265) (361)(326)(467) (1607).
Many coznmenters also believe the traffic in the Delaware
River and Bay add to the risk of a spill (24)(321)(268)(278).
One comxnenter asked why EPA would choose one of the longest and
most densely populated rivers on the East Coast (322). Another
found the safety measures outweighed the risk, however, and
suggested that EPA delete the moving safety zone from the plan,
stating that daylight travel with good visibility, tug escort,
and a pilot was adequate and would be less disruptive to other
traffic (1323). Another comxnenter noted the safety plan follows
a model that has worked well before in populated areas for
carrying liquified natural gas (331).
Most comznenters believed the risk was too great to reconunend
routing PCB’s down the Delaware to the 140 mile site
Shore residents recall a number of spills and leaks and,
therefore, perceive that any vessel faces considerable risk
of an accident (126l)(336)(433). One cominenter cited 1983
figures from the Coast Guard: 392 incidents releasing 1,745,000
gallons and over 2 million tons of hazardous chemicals into
navigable waters (296).
Several cornmenters quoted a figure they attributed to
EPA that given the safety measures and ship design the odds of an
accident to the incinerator ship are 1 per 12,000 operating years
and the odds of a major accident causing contents to be spilled
from three or more cargo tanks are 1 per 24,000 operating years

(279)(284). One comn enter perceived this figure to be so
ridiculous that it was insulting to the public’s intelligence
(227). Two comxnenters pointed out that probabilities, even
extremely remote ones, are small comfort because a spill could
happen anytime, anywhere; there is no way to foretell when that
chance will come up (296)(l276).
2. spill effects
Cominenters agreed that even one spill would devastate the
coastal area’s economic base which depends on tourism and
recreation (1276)(280)(28l)(5)(l30)(351)(370).
Possible harm to benthic species that feed on the bottom
where area spills and particulates would eventually settle
concerns one commenter (1249). Marine and migratory animals
and birdlife are also at risk some commenters believe (1249)(160)
A spill that entered marshlands and resided only 1 month
before being cleaned up would devastate these productive habitats
one comrneriter observed.
Other possible adverse effect that greatly worry residents
along the Delaware River concern human health; one is the
possibility of drinking water contamination (247)(265)(42). The
other is the threat of PCB’s entering the food chain, which is
significant to this area that both enjoys and lives on its
seafood (307) (1249) (316) (42) (244).
The spill need not be large to cause harm believes one
cominenter because only 1 part per billion of PCB’s could affect
photosynthesis and the ocean’s ability to regenerate oxygen
(375). Another surface effect that concerns one conunenter is the
significant risk of harm to the ocean’s microlayer (129).
How far a spill would spread is an open question in the
public mind. The comnienter who said “everything spills along New
Jersey’s coast if it sinks or cracks” sums up the feelings of
many that this threat is likely to be realized anywhere (71).
One commenter, in a more specific vein, said that the North
Atlantic has about a dozen or more Gulf Stream frontal eddies at
any given time. These eddies occur in the incineration site
about 20 percent of the time and “are capable of picking up
pollutants such as toxic wastes or oil and carrying them to the
continental shelf.” Predicting their route is “mostly guess
work” and they could also carry pollutants back to shore (27).
Another cominenter noted that a sudden, easily detectable spill
might not be the greatest risk, that slow-acting effects might
tell us this research burn was a mistake 10—20 years after the
fact (130). One cominenter observed that man’s contaminants “come
back to us no matter how far out to sea we put them” (307).

A cominenter predicted that the Chesapeake Bay could be
contaminated also by this venture (12).
Area residents feel quite strongly about the ocean and
coastal resources. One commenter looking at the risks, no matter
how remote, stated ‘ocean incineration is not compatible with the
essence of this area.’ That sentiment is backed up by many who
depend on fishery for a living and are alarmed at the threat to
their way of life; many commenters opposed introducing chemicals
like PCB near fisheries (558)(56l)(563)(565)(348)(985)(470)(496)
(1047). One cominenter stating that fishing contributed $500
million to the New Jersey economy each year said Nwe have
committed ourselves both financially and morally to this
profession and we refuse to sit back and watch this relatively
‘pure’ employment be destroyed” (499).

1. General comments
Most comrnenters considered an environment impact statement
(EIS) essential to carrying out the proposed research
(201) (206)(322)(325)(326)(334)(271)(435)(567). One commenter
“formally demanded” that an impact study be undertaken. Although
an EIS has been prepared for the North Atlantic test Site, many
commenters felt that the EIS prepared for ocean incineration in
1982 was not current enough (300)(126)(558)(226). Some
questioned whether more recent technology had been evaluated
(337)(567)(126)(558)(226). One cominenter felt that the 1982 ElS
did not sufficiently address many questions that should be
studied before proceeding with a test burn (295). Another
cominenter called for an EIS to be prepared —— but only after the
proposed research burn was carried out (331).
One commenter supported EPA’s decision to forego an EIS
for the proposed research on at-sea incineration of hazardous
wastes and claimed that an impact statement for ocean
incineration was not required, but voluntary (1268). In
contrast, another cominenter cited a U.S. Supreme Court decision
which called the environmental impact statement the “only outward
sign that environmental values and consequences have been
considered” (1255).
2. Transport and transfer
Among the greatest concerns for studying the impacts of the
proposed research was that the consequences of a spill during
either land transport to and through Philadelphia, storage at
port, transfer to ship, or transport through the Delaware River
and Bay needed to be assessed (283)(201)(226)(227)(296). One
corninenter considered that without an EIS on the transport and
transfer phase, no analysis of risk —- aesthetic, recreational,
or economic —— could be determined, especially for beaches only
140 miles from the test site and even closer to the transport
route (1255). According to another: “The risks inherent in the
transport of hazardous materials on land or at sea are well
known. It is critical that EPA consider and provide the public
with an analysis of the specific risks to the Port Richmond area,
Delaware Bay and Atlantic coast in a worst case ana1ysis (393).
Another commenter mentioned “that the possibility of a spill is
the most significant potential hazard associated with ocean
incineration and that 70 percent of ocean incineration spills are
expected to occur in highly populated coastal areas” (326).
Other cornmenters cited examples from the draft EIS for the
North Atlantic Site arid public officials’ statements that serious
public health hazards including contaminated drinking water would

result from an accidental spill “in commercial or recreational
coastal areas...” (38)(226). “Given the known threats posed by
PCB’s... ” (38) and “...despite EPA’s recognition of this problem
and its catastrophic potential, that agency has steadfastly
refused to prepare an EIS addressing these risks involved in the
loading and transit of incineration vessels up and down the
Delaware River and Bay, nor has any other Federal agency agreed
to undertake this duty which we feel is a clearly mandated duty
under Federal law” (320).
The recent history of spills in the area gave couimenters
further reason to want an EIS for the transport and transfer
phase (334). To some commenters, the Grand Eagle oil tanker
spill off of Claymont, DE, underscored the importance of
assessing transportation risks and impacts and showed that human
error can still be the major contributing factor to a maritime
catastrophe (320). Other cominenters also voiced concern that
accidents and malfunctions needed to be studied for their
possible effects on life and livelihoods (159)(559). The
proposed port of Philadelphia was of concern to several
commenters (201)(227)(226)(336). One questioned why no
comparative impact statements were prepared on several ports and
waterways to determine “the least environmentally sensitive
resources and the least likelihood of accident (340).
Commenters also thought it important to assess the
sensitivity of the Bay marine life and long—term effects on the
marine life including endangered species, and people
(276)(306)(47l)(473)(4325)(422)(328)(498)(567). Several
conunenters suggested that unknown byproducts of the burn, if
ingested by fish, would find their way into the food chain thus
affecting humans, too (278)(227)(277).
Cominenters expressed two other concerns for an EIS on
long-term effects. One commenter mentioned that an EPA scientist
had “expressed concern that the Agency did not perform a cancer
risk assessment of potential danger to the ship’s crew or to
residents from possible sea life contamination when proposing the
Gulf Coast test burn” (227). The other point was that the
proposed test site for the burn is “contiguous or very close” to
the 106—Mile dump site already in existence. The conunenter felt
that, “the whole question of the impact of those two sites being
next to each other” was another item for study in an EIS (295).
3. Legal requirements for an RIS
Some disagreement surrounded the issue of EPA’s legal
requirement to prepare an environmental impact statement on the
effect of a spill on Delaware Bay and other aspects of the
proposed research. The major arguments referred to the National
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, which requires Federal
agencies to prepare environmental impact statements for all
“major Federal actions significantly affecting the quality of the

human environment.” One continenter stated that the proposed
Research Permit does not constitute such an action “as a matter
of fact.” Furthermore, EPA has implied exemption from the EIS
requirement because the agency’s procedures and mandates are the
“‘functional equivalent’” of an EIS if all environmental factors
are given adequate attention (1268). Giving the same NEPA
requirement as the basis for argument, another conunenter felt
that the proposed burn will undoubtedly affect the quality of the
human environment, and therefore an EIS is required (1255). That
commenter went on to say that any ocean dumping permit “is
customarily issued with an EIS,” and that the North Atlantic Site
EIS, since it does not consider the loading at port and transport
of the wastes, is insufficient to satisfy the requirement.
Opposing that argument, the former commenter (12681) cited court
precedents for waiving the necessity of an EIS, paraphrasing the
decision that when an agency with “environmental expertise”
undertakes extensive procedures that include public
participation, formal adherence to NEPA is not required. Citing
a U.S. Supreme Court decision calling for an EIS as “the only
outward sign that environmental values and consequences have been
considered,” the latter comrnenter (1255) stated that an EIS
served the broad purpose of understanding the environmental risks
in the proposed situation. EPA’S failure to prepare an EIS on
transport and transfer phase leads one to question EPA’S
commitment to NEPA principles.
Several other cominenters were concerned with EPA’s legal
responsibility to prepare an EIS. One commenter called the EIS
a “duty which we feel is clearly mandated under Federal law,”
going on to say that a state could “withhold certifying coastal
zone consistency for the commercial operations of incinerator
vessels. I might add that this is a necessary prerequisite to
the procurement of any permit for commercial operations.” That
commenter also would consider bringing suit under the NEP1 to
“compel the EPA to do their Federally mandated duty” (320).
Another commenter felt that the EIS as prepared in 1982 on ocean
incineration was “legally inadequate and a more comprehensive
environmental impact statement is legally required” (226).
Another cornmenter referred to EPA regulations that state
that “the purpose of an EIS is to ensure that information
on the environment is available to public officials and citizens
before decisions are made. However, EPA has never issued an EIS
on the environmental effect of this particular research burn”
(296). This coinmnenter gave additional legal arguments for the
issuance of an EIS: “...the International Treaty and Ocean
Dumping Act require EPA to consider the effect of ocean disposal
on our health and marine environment. However, the research burn
as presently designed, cannot possibly provide EPA with the
appropriate information...” An EIS would entail collecting the
necessary baseline data to evaluate the proposed research
adequately (296).

1 • General perceptions
Coinmeriters overwhelmingly opposed the selection of the North
Atlantic Incineration Site. Most who addressed the issue of the
site live in the coastal States and perceive the Atlantic Ocean,
even a site far offshore, to be part of their immediate
environment and the source of their livelihood (490)(135)(356)
(1066)(133)(134)(1276). Several conunenters recommended choosing
a site farther from densely populated areas that would be less
likely to harm tourism and fishery (469)(493)(140)(424)(370).
Some commenters worried that any mishaps at the site would most
likely happen in the summer when tourism was at its peak
(370) (140).
Other conunenters fear that EPA might use the results of
this test as the basis for approving the North Atlantic
Incineration Site for commercial incineration (318)(1066).
2. Endangered species and other aarine fauna
In this category, most cornmenters perceived a need to
protect endangered species, primarily sperm whales, that inhabit
of travel through the area (318)(558)(3l6)(297)((278)(282)(1072)
(450)(425)(1371)(1336). Some commenters argued for a clear
scientific or biological opinion on the effect of incineration on
endangered species (296). One commeriter said that the National
Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) had already determined that “some
and perhaps all of the North Atlantic incineration site may be a
high use area for endangered sperm whale and other marine
animals” (296). This cominenter added that studies from the
University of Rhode Island reached the same conclusion about the
site area. Another commenter listed three reason why the EPA
would be making an erroneous decision in assuming that the
proposed research would not affect any endangered species:
(1) The effectiveness of the incinerator technology has not
yet been determined;
(2) The impact of emissions on the marine environment,
mammals, arid birds is unknown; and
(3) Marine life at the site is not well documented (1255).
Since the effects of ocean incineration on endangered
species is still an open question, some commenters say, EPA must
request a formal consultation with the NMFS under the Endangereci
Species Act (1255)(296).

One cominenter added that the site selection has the greatest
potential effect on seasonally migratory and pelagic birds that
could fly directly into the incinerator plumes or be affected by
as yet undetermined toxic emissions (1255). Whales and turtles
could also suffer direct contact with incinerator plumes or
spills, this coininenter said (1255). Furthermore, the commenter
claimed, EPA’s reports of “apparently low abundance of life at
the site” indicates inadequate documentation for unsysteniatically
undertaken sitings. Another commenter felt that to get the
necessary information on endangered species using the site a
monthly or bimonthly inspection of the area over at least a
1 year period would be necessary (282).
Comrnenters’ objection to the site as a critical habitat for
sea life encompassed other fish and animals besides endangered
species. Some co imnenters felt misled by the information from EPA
on one hand that the site contained no important marine life and
other sources like the NMFS that claimed that the area attracts
tuna, marlin, and swordfish as well as endangered species
(6) (276).
Another comnienter stated that the area was at the edge of
the Gulfstreain and the continental shelf and that “migratory
fish ... travel up and down the edge of the Gulfstream, “and
since they also come within 20 miles of shore, could carry
contamination toward the shore with them (278).
3. Lack of inforaation on the site
Many cominenters felt that information on the site was
lacking or contradictory; several requested more “site—specific”
information in the form of an updated EIS on the site Several
comnienters asked what criteria had formed the basis for choosing
the North Atlantic site (466)(467C)(271C)(272L); others wanted to
know what alternatives, if any, had been investigated (985)(134)
(1079)(1251). One co inmenter suggested “that other sites further
out to sea be investigated.” (985).
In the same vein, other commenters called for more baseline
information on the site (3)(296)(428)(558)(282)(352)(428)(1255)
(334). Of those, one position stated was that “baseline and
impact studies are an essential part of any research burn” (3).
Some cominenters pointed out that site—specific baseline data was
prereq’uisite to sound conclusion from any research there (1255)
The closeness of the North Atlantic Incineration Site to the
106—Mile Waste Disposal Site also disturbed several conunenters.
The extrapolation of baseline studies for the 106—Mile site did
not satisfy the commenters wanting specific baseline data for the
incineration site (3)(282). Cornmenters also questioned whether
the two sites’ proximity would make monitoring efforts at the new
site difficult or even impossible once emissions and residues of

both sites enter ocean and wind currents (296)(1255). Another
cominenter said that since ocean currents move predominantly to
the southwest, chemical wastes in these sites could be
transported through one another (1255). One conunenter questioned
the suitability of the site —— because it was at sea —- to the
proposed research believing that the ‘often chaotic’ nature of
the ocean made it “not a good, controlled environment” in which
to run tests (1245).
Cominenters objecting to the site selection also claimed
that, besides the lack of information, several bodies of
contradictory information exist (428)(276)(296). Commenters
repeatedly cited the National Marine Fisheries Service as the
source of information that EPA is mistaken in its assertion that
the incidence of marine life is low at the proposed site
(1255)(296)(6) and at the 106—mile site (276).
Some coininenters requested pertinent information from burns
in the Gulf of Mexico (3)(6). One comrnenter asked, “Is the
problem that factual monitoring is extremely difficult in tidal
watersV’(6) The other asked, “How many burns have been conducted
in the Gulf of Mexico to date? There are a number of conflicting
versions of the chronology given by various members of the EPA.
When you refer to the burn at Johnston Atoll, do you mean one
burn or a series of burns?” (3)
4. Possible human exposure
One commenter warned that EPA ’s reliance on prevailing
westerly winds at the site to keep emissions from shore ignored
easterly and northeasterly wind patterns known to blow heavy
gusts onto shore and that atmospheric models estimating the
dispersion rates of toxic emissions have not been verified
(1255). This commenter continued that the Science Advisory Board
“concurred with the possibility” that concentrated emissions,
“including acid deposition from HC1 emissions” could be carried
onshore (1255). Other commenters expressed concerns that
residual toxins emitted at the site, becoming fugitive emissions,
could have long-term toxic effects both at sea and on shore
(l045E) (12S).
“The potential exposure of fishermen to airborne
contaminants, especially hydrochloric acid, during and
immediately after a burn” concerned some commenters (334). One
stated that “Many commercial long line fishermen fish out beyond
the continental shelf for swordfish, tuna and bilifish and have
their gear set in this type of an area for 24 to 48 hours. What
types of methodology will...inforin these fishermen that a burn
will be occurring?” (334) Another cominenter was concerned for the
safety of those on other ships and suggested that the vessel be
required to maintain a “buffer zone” at the edge of the site so
that all fallout and the incineration plume remain within the
site boundaries (469).

Still another cornmenter said that despite assurances that
the area was away from fisheries the possibility of eventual fish
contamination existed, along with the likelihood that people
would ingest contaminated fish (204).
5. Support for the selection of the North Atlantic
Incineration Site
The comments in favor of the site selection were concise.
One cominenter said the ocean “is a strong, large, and very
forgiving medium. And our experience with oil spills proves that
over and over again.” (331) Another conunenter said that, “the
Mid-Atlantic region should not become the incinerator for the
nation’s liquid organic wastes...” but did not oppose the
use of the site 140 miles off the coast (329). The third
commenter supporting the site selection believed that the
potential impacts on endangered or threatened species at the site
have been adequately assessed by EPA and that “the proposed
activity will not affect endangered or threatened species under
NMFS jurisdiction.” (1268) The conunenter went on to say that
the NMFS has concurred with the EPA on this point.

1. General perceptions
Overall, conimenters question the validity, adequacy, and
efficiency of sampling procedures and equipment (299)(18)(297)
(30)(1262)(4)(319)(5)(l23)(1274). As one cozomenter stated, the
credibility of the research depends upon who draws the sample,
what the flow of the “sealed envelope” will be, and who chooses
and pays the company in charge of the sampling (3). Another
conimenter expressed great uneasiness regarding the vagueness of
the permit terminology and recommended deleting phrases such as
“should be,” “needs to,” and “can be” and substituting less
ambiguous wording such as “shall be.” (1626) Another conunenter
suggested that shutdown conditions be studied separately from
data acquired during operation (469).
Many conunenters said that research testing would be far
better done in a laboratory, controlled environment that used
sea water and species indigenous to the North Atlantic
(5)(13)(415)(l255). Several cominenters noted reservations about
the equipment to be used: for instance, some comnienters rated
the collection efficiency of the inicrolayer sampling equipment to
be so low that what would be collected could not justifiably
pass for representative samples (4)(35).
Raw data from the research should be made available to the
public, one cornmeriter suggested (469).
2. Emissions
One coinmenter stated that additions to the plume for
tracking purposes could actually defeat the adequacy of the
sampling because the tracer chemical, SF 6 , could add an
unnecessary toxic to the plume (1268). Another comnienter
thought SF 6 might not follow the lightest compounds in the
emissions (469). Another cornmenter said that CO, C0 2 , metallic
oxides, silicate ash, organic compounds, and P lC’s from erratic
plumes would be subject to a wide ranges, hence open to
interpretive abuse (1276).
Many cominenters emphasized that the sampling procedures for
emissions are not adequate to determine what kinds of emissions
are released or where they will move (985)(283)(274)(415)(1275)
(39)(28)(3)(899)(l248)(1276)(l626)(1340). This is an important
omission to many conuneriters who believe that it is essential for
this research to identify both the quantities and the toxicities
of all emissions species and to establish analytical methods that
are sensitive to toxicologically active levels of these
substances (899). Using only one incinerator could make
detection of some emissions impossible, one comnienter believed

(469). Others say that since toxic byproducts and possibly
uncombusted wastes could be emitted, careful monitoring and
analysis of the emissions is the scientifically responsible
approach to this research (1276)(28)(428)(283).
Some coinmenters argue that unrecognized compounds could be
released before the high temperature required for destruction is
reached (28). Others believe that the high temperatures will
cause misleading results or sensor failure (469)(985). One
commenter pointed out that the sampling transverses for
land—based incinerators are downstack of the scrubbers where
temperatures range from 140 to 200 degrees F. In this test,
sampling will be done where exhaust gas temperatures can exceed
2,000 degrees F (985). Another commenter submitted literature on
an incinerator from Environment Canada which appears to indicate
that supposedly destroyed chemicals can recombine or form new
products as they cool (1248).
Some cominenters noted that the emissions tests will not
adequately measure airborne metals (39)(1275)(1255). One
comnienter noted that every metal in the waste would exit through
emissions, but perhaps in different chemical forms that could
affect their solubility and bioavailability (1255).
One comntenter stated that EPA was mixing an effort to issue
10 year permits with carrying out research that should come first
and suggested that EPA should obtains certification of further
research strategy from OTA (1343).
3. Air
One commenter found the lack of definite commitment in the
permit documents to taking upper air measurements of temperature
and humidity during the “minimum of two ascents per day”
unacceptable and requested that this be reworded to unambiguously
require measuring temperature and humidity (995). Another
comnxnenter suggested that EPA should at least assess the
meteorological effects on atmospheric transport (1255).
4. Water
One corrtnienter said that if a seawater trap were subjected to
bubbling a stream of incinerator stack exhaust through the water,
recooled, readjusted to normal pH and salinity, and then
analyzed, the results would be false (4). This method, said the
conunenter, will actually reject rather than collect unburned
hazardous organics. The reasons the conunenter gave for this
result were that bubbling removes organics from seawater; these
organics are what attracts hydrophobic chemicals like PCB’s.
Also the effluents will lower the pH to less than 2, which will
enhance lipid and humic material removal, and decrease PCB
solubility. The chlorine introduced will cause some organics to

be removed by “salting out” and further decrease PCB solubility.
Finally, if the water trap temperatures are high, partial
pressures and evaporation will increase and consequently decrease
the solution concentrations of hydrophobic molecules (4).
In contrast, notes this commenter, the oceanic microlayer
with its rich organics and lipid content is a natural collecter
for uncombusted or partly combusted organic wastes (4).
Another comxnenter noted that grab sampling would not be a
wise choice for this experiment since vertical and seasonal
movements of water are complex and the true picture depends upon
understanding these movements and sampling in appropriate
locations (1255).
4. Biota and bioasBays
One cominenter suggested that studies of caged animals at sea
might be a useful means to study water column effects of
emissions on marine animals (1255). Others suggested a
controlled lab experiment would be more reliable (5)(4l5).
Another cominenter said that tissues should be analyzed even
though the duration of PCB exposures may be too short to obtain
any useful results (899).
Another commenter noted that the proposed bioassays are
only the most basic of biological tests (1276). The tests also
will not assess genetic damage or human cancer, one cominenter
noted (899). A comxnenter stated that one to three tests on a few
marine organisms cannot assess important life cycle effects and,
further, address too narrow a habitat (1276). The organisms used
should be carefully considered, another conunenter stated, because
laboratory species tend to be especially hardy and a more
accurate test would employ indigenous species from the
incineration area (1626).
Past research has been seriously flawed in its failure to
collect samples under all conditions, one commenter said (39).
This research should include a careful plan to collect samples
under optimum conditions as usual, but also during upsets
or rough sea conditions (390).
Studying long-term effects is extremely important to many
coznznenters who object to the short-lived nature of the research
on marine biota (1249)(28)(39). One commenter said that
bioaccumulation, which is not addressed in this research, is a
key factor in assessing long-term impacts (1249).
Numerous cominenters believed that special attention should
be paid to effects on the oceans microlayer; these comments are
discussed in Chapter XIV on research design.
6. Combustion efficiency, destruction efficiency, and flow

One cominenter objected to plans to measure combustion
efficiency and flow on just the first two days of the burn and
suggested they be measured throughout the burn (1255). For this
purpose, full traverse sampling should be done, the commenter
said, to determine whether any points of low CE exist during
varied operating conditions (1255).
Before this project begins, destruction efficiency should be
better established under more stable land—based conditions, one
conunenter noted (1255).

1. General perceptions
Many commenters believe that more preparation is necessary
before a large—scale ocean incineration test is begun and
recommend pausing to organize this research project better
(298) (316) (140) (422) (144)(518)(445)(1255).
Conunenters pointed to several facets of this research burn
that they said were not adequately backed up with good data,
credible analyses, or validated test—scale research (283)(1255).
Some cominenters observed that collecting sufficient baseline data
on the research site is prerequisite to interpreting data
collected from the research (283)(1255). Other cominenters warned
that research results could be obscured unless possible
interactions and synergetic effects between the North Atlantic
Incineration Site and the 106—mile dumping site were assessed
before the research burn was carried out (466)(467)(271).
Several corninenters doubted that the expected 99.9999 percent
destruction rate for PCB’s by ocean incineration was reasonably
well established either in theory or by any previous burns
(517)(298)(286)(986). One contznenter stated that past tests had
been inconclusive on this point (987). Another conunenter asked
that a land-based test burn of PCB’s in Arkansas and a dockside
burn of fuel oil be completed before the ocean incineration
project, as scheduled, to protect citizens near the ocean
incineration site (286). Another commenter warned that dockside
or land models might not adequately characterize how the
incineration process would behave under the rough sea conditions,
however (469).
The public believes we lack some pertinent information that
should be collected before carrying out the research burn; one
such item is a better understanding of the wind and oceanic drift
patterns that might carry pollutants (490).
2. ) (icrolayer
Some commeriters are concerned that microlayer effects will
not be sufficiently studied (260)(351)(353)(1255). One cominenter
stated that this first few millionths of an inch of water at the
surface just below the sea—air interface differs significantly
from the surface water just below; in particular it is enriched
with dissolved lipids, organic carbons, chlorophyll,
phytoplankton, and bacteria (260). This cominenter is especially
concerned that nonpolar pollutants will become concentrated in
the microlayer because of its high lipid content (260). Another
corninenter warned that incomplete combustion products can fall on
the ocean’s surface layer and significantly affect the basis of

the marine food chain (435). One conunenter stated that
commercially important fish travel through the area and fluke and
lobster reside in the area, therefore inicrolayer pollution could
significantly harm marine larvae and eggs, affecting commercial
fishery as a result (1255).
3. Effects on biota
One cominenter pointed out that the distribution of fish and
larvae in offshore waters and at the incineration site is not
well documented, therefore EPA should determine what is present
and potentially affected by the test burn (1249). Another
cominenter believes effects on biota are not adequately addressed
in the research design -- the bioassays concentrate on too few
organisms, in too narrow a habitat, for too short a span (1276).
This comrnenter states that it would require large doses of
compounds to immediately harm marine organisms; the more likely
harm is bioaccumulation, entry to the food chain, and other
long—term effects that are not designated for study. Many
other commenters also question whether PCB’s will enter the food
chain, bioaccumulate, or bioconcentrate (70). Another conunenter
suggested that indigenous benthic and water column biota should
be carefully studied for impacts, perhaps via caged animal
experiments (1255). Monitoring should be done downstream form
the site (1255).
One commeriter claimed that the research design shows a lack
of concern for air—breathing animals (469). Some commenters are
disturbed that long—term effects are not being addressed and that
possible carcinogenic effects are largely ignored in both the
background information and in the test itself (12)(286)(370)(561)
One cominenter found efforts to assess exposures inadequate,
pointing out that exposures are difficult to assess since
pollutant pathways are quite varied and the reactions vary
according to the organism (12). Data to date, said this
cominenter, are the result of individual judgement or unverified
computer models.
4. .tssions
The public is especially critical of the research burn’s
likely emissions and how they will be handled. Many cominenters
note that the emissions can carry newly formed toxics that are
even more dangerous than the original waste (241)(139)(316)(353).
One commenter points out that a criterion for burning PCB’s
under MPRSA is that the emissions be harmless or rapidly rendered
harmless, a condition this cominenter says is not met in the
research burn (1324) In addition to the known possibilities, some
cominenters object to this research on the grounds that we do not
even know what may come out of the stack (l2)(1255). One

commenter points out that even though previous burns have shown
enzyme induction in marine animals —— possibly indicating
polychiorinated dibenzofurans —— and elevated levels of
cytochroine P—450 in livers, this test fails to consider such
substances (1255). Further, coininenters give several reasons that
this test may not resolve what is truly emitted: analysis is
very difficult to perform in the stack’s high exit temperatures
(12); differences might show up if parameters were measured on
more than one temperature zone (985); testing procedures are
inadequate (296)(352); testing at sea is more difficult to carry
out than on land and therefore more questionable (888)(1245);
plumes are not constant and measurements may not represent the
true picture (1276); DE measures only some preselected compounds
(12)(1255). Much better control would be offered in a land—based
research burn some commenters point out (].245)(1276). One
cominenter observed that even though we are not sure what might
come out of the stack, toxics will surely be emitted (1323).
Those that are hydrophilic and hydrophobic will seek fatty tissue
in the environment. Such chemicals cannot be broken down or
eliminated once they enter the body, this coinznenter added
Emissions of hydrochloric acid are unnecessarily high to
many coznznenters who recommend that scrubbers be required as on
land—based incineration(353)(329)(985)(590). A commenter who
disagrees pointed out that scrubbers do not control toxics, do a
poor job at heavy metals removal, and only control hydrochloric
acid which isn’t even necessary on the ocean environment since
the alkaline waters will soon buffer the acid (330). One
cominenter observed that the permit does not state the frequency
of HC1 monitoring (350) A commenter who supports scrubbers finds
the potential HC1 emissions significant (985). If the waste is
10 percent PCB’s, the burn would emit 625#/hr of EC1; at 30
percent PCB’s this would rise to 1,865 #/hr (985). Another
cominenter estimates that one incinerator ship could raise acid
deposition in New England by .3 percent; a fleet of incinerator
ships would certainly present a likely target for control the
conunenter observes (350). Nor is it a foregone conclusion that
the sea will be the receptor of HC1 emissions some conunenters
point out (985)(350). These cominenters believe that the
emissions can easily be carried to land.
Emissions should also be sampled away from the incinerator
stack one cominenter noted (469).
5. Materials and methods
Some coinmenters object to a lack of validated testing and
assessment procedures (352)(502)(12)(435). They note that EPA
has not pretested the methodology and equipment that CWM will use
and say EPA should carry out preliminary trials of chemical
analyses to demonstrate the accuracy before proceeding with the

research burn (296). Several cornxnenters ask that EPA adhere to
advice of the SAB (286)(228).
Another coinmenter says plume impact modeling is not
described in the working document (985). Another commenter says
that EPA’S decision to track the plume horizontally, but not
vertically constitutes a frivolous approach to this test (228).
6. Models and theoretical bases
The fate and transport models are suspect, says one
comxnenter, because they were developed for land—based
incinerators with very little field verification (1261). These
are necessarily inaccurate for oceanic conditions (1261). The
same corninenter gives another example of a flawed model in the
research assumption on waste dilution that claims mixing to a
20 in depth in 4 hours. The cominenter notes that, first, the
waste will be biologically concentrated and held in the
microlayer and, second, some areas experience upwelling that can
entrain surface waters, which reduces the depth of thermocline,
thus making less water available for dilution.
Other corninenters question destruction efficiency as a valid
concept to measure results since it considers only selected
chemicals and does not analyze everything that comes out of the
stack (1255)(12). Nor are the analytical methodologies to be
used in this research validated for the test conditions or the
emissions matrix one comrnenter also noted (12). The working
document is also not specific about how verification would be
performed said one corninenter (1255). This corninenter wondered how
EPA proposed to establish DE and observed that it was unlikely
that DE could be correctly calculated from CE. The comrnenter
also requested that DE reflect a complete analysis of all
organics and P lC’s from the stack, an aggregate analysis of the
chemical mixture released to the environment, and the
consequences of flame—outs and other interruptions (1255).
One comntenter claimed that the Agency had misrepresented the
success of DE and CE in a past burn despite the fact that severe
technical difficulties, particularly vibrations, had prevented
any valid data from being collected (1323).
7. Research objectives
Several corninenters believe that the test will not achieve
its stated purpose of testing ocean incineration as a viable and
safe hazardous waste management technology.
One cornmenter notes that EPA is not addressing cumulative
impacts of the fat soluble pollutants on the marine environment,
and therefore will not know whether the long-term effect is safe

or harmful (1255)(1626). Many commenters fault this experiment
for its failure to investigate long—term effects on biota (12).
Another cominenter finds the experiment’s shortcomings even
more basic —- it goes in the wrong direction entirely: Surely,
this commenter says, the point should not be how little
additional harm we do to the ocean, rather we should concentrate
on reversing past contamination (358). Many coinmenters think the
narrow scope of this research will add to our understanding of
some processes but fails to offer valid support for a full-scale
incineration program (327). Many of these objections rest upon
the waste chosen and were discussed in Chapter V. Another
coimnenter thinks the test may not prove much because the DE may,
be unverifiable (318).
One cornmenter thought that none of the research’s five
stated objectives could be met as the research is now designed
(1255). The first objective -— public participation —- was
thwarted by EPA’s failure to release critical information until
after the February 15, 1986, comment period closed (1255)
(note: this period was subsequently extended). This comznenter
charged that the Agency failed to collect the extent of toxicity
data via testing that it had publicly stated it would pursue at
the time of the Draft Strategy in October 1984 and, furthermore,
failed to summarize and turn over to the public what little
information it did collect.
The same coznmenter said the second objective ——
characterizing emissions for a specific waste feed -— was poorly
fulfilled by choosing a waste of such stable BTU content. The
test, as a result, could only justify subsequent burning of
wastes with equal or higher BTLJ ratings. Further the test should
be run on a pilot scale —— which 700,000 gallons is not (1255).
Lack of testing for fat soluble contents, failure to measure
}iCl emissions impacts, failure to collect adequate background
data, failure to perform preliminary effects research, the use of
inappropriate and nonindigenous test species, and the proposed
use of only one incinerator (which could lead to emissions below
detectable levels that might be detectable if three stacks were
used) all destroy the possibility of achieving objective 3 —- a
toxicity determination through lab analyses (1255).
Short term sampling of a “one-time event” precludes
successfully reaching the fourth objective -- determining
toxicity through field measurements —- said the same cominenter
Finally, the fifth objective —— to develop and begin
verifying transport models —— could not be met based on
weaknesses in past research efforts that are once again poorly
addressed or ignored in the present research, the cornrnenter said
(1255). The coniinenter also pointed out that transport model

verification does not require incinerating PCB’s at all. It
could be achieved with any nontoxic, isotopica].ly stable tracer

1. Destruction efficiency
Some commenters feel that destruction efficiency is an
inadequate measure to assure that the incineration does not
release excessive PCB’s to the environment —— Chapter 14 already
discussed its limitations for assessing the full range of
chemicals emitted. Another objection, however, is that even
99.9999 percent destruction allows some PCB’s to enter the
environment. One coinmenter calculated that, even if perfect
99.9999 percent destruction achieved, one—fifth of a quart of
PCB’s could still enter the environment (311). This comnienter
says that amount is not insignificant because of PCB’s
bioconcentrative tendencies. The first organism might ingest
only trace amounts, but by the stage in the food chain where
larvae feed off of single celled organism, this concentration
could be 10 ppb, the next feeder would be at 100 ppb. At the top
of the food chain predator fish like tuna and bluefish would be
at ranges beyond safety for human consumption (311). Several
cornmenters noted that the SAB has called destruction efficiency a
“scientifically inadequate” measure (351). Others do not think
DE can even be measured with accuracy (272). If any inefficiency
is permitted, asks one commenter, how can we possibly preclude
the production of dioxins in the burn process (129)? Many
cornxnenters echo a concern about production of dioxins and other
organic compounds that will be produced but not identified (249).
One cormnenter points out that even a short—lived upset will
lower the DE temporarily (327). Further, says another conunenter,
the automatic shutoff has a four second delay during which
wastes will continue to pour into the incinerator, at best
(1354)(469)(1248). Cominenters ask how often this can be allowed
to happen in 25 hours or during the entire period before the
experiment would be cancelled (469)(1248). One conunenter
questions whether the 4—second delay itself is even likely to
materialize because the controlling equipment will be subject to
excessive stress from the incinerator heat (1354). Another
coininenter believes that the action of a pitching boat will
certainly interfere with DE (249). As a check on DE, one
conuneriter suggests that baseline data be taken on the Delaware
estuary and the burn site for later comparison (340). Another
coniinenter wrote to express concern over the controversy on
incinerator efficiency and index of incinerability (3).
Some cornmenters believe that the destruction efficiency can
and should be monitored continuously (l354)(469). Finally one
conunenter notes that destruction efficiencies were derived by an
ad hoc process and developed under ideal condition; for real
operation the target efficiency should be even higher to allow
a cushion for lowered efficiencies during upsets (1354).

Another comnienter pointed out that it would be wasteful to
burn fuel at a 95.95 percent CE (plus or minus .05 percent) for a
full 24—hour period before starting the waste feed. Surely a
full hour at the required CE should suffice this coininenter said
2. Environmental performance standards
The elements of environmental performance standards -- HC1
emissions and harm to the environment —— were already discussed
in the chapter on research design since the thrust of continents
was that these issues need rethinking altogether, and did not
deal with how the standards would be carried out in operation.

1. Incinerator temperatures
Some comrnenters question whether it will be possible to
maintain the required 2,400 degree temperature under sea—going
conditions (298). Some feel that gauge readings for temperature
and other controls will be affected by the test conditions —-
pitching in the rolling seas (595). One commenter notes that the
automatic waste feed will shutdown the operation when the
temperature does drop to 1,100 degrees in the wall (330).
One commenter claims that incinerator ships as a class do
not meet as high a temperature requirement as land—based
incinerators and that is an illegal exception that has never been
published in the Federal register or reviewed (129). This
commenter calls incinerators aboard the Vulcanus only little
better than powerplant incinerators, which are adequate only for
dilute PCB incineration.
One commenter notes that conservative practice would require
locating the thermocouple to control temperature at the point
where the lowest temperature to be used to calculate residence
time would be recorded (1354).
2. Residence and dwell time
One conunenter says the Vulcanus residence time offers
low—quality incineration that is environmentally risky (129).
The conunenter quotes section 761.40 of the PCB regulations at
1,200 plus or minus 100 degrees for 2 seconds, or 1,600 plus or
minus 100 degrees C for 1 1/2 seconds.
Another cornrnenter suggested that the volume of wastes below
the burner center line and above the upper level thermocouple
should not be included in residence time calculations (1275).
Another coxninenter notes that the literature on residence
times show that less than 0.1 second residence can yield thermal
destruction under laboratory conditions and that this would
destruct PCB’s in operation as well, provided the mixture were
correct and the waste reached the flame front or remained for
much longer times. These conditions would be assured, the
commenter said, in a plug—flow incinerator design with a nonf lame
afterburner (1354). The Vulcanus, this coxnmenter points out,
does not have such a design and cannot accommodate an
afterburner. This comnienter faults others who have described the
Vulcanus system as having a laminar flow, which it does not. The
coinmenter insists that afterburners are necessary to ensure that
all wastes in the stream are adequately treated to achieve

Another cominenter observed that under TSCA regulations a
waiver on dwell time relies on the destruction removal efficiency
as the primary measure of performance. Since this burn states
that establishing DRE is one of its objectives, it is not valid
to use DRE to justify a waiver for residence time requirements
(1255). The commenter added that the scientific community
differs over the significance of residence time and a waiver is
not warranted on the strength of current data in any case (1255).
3. Automatic recording and automatic shutoff
One cominenter notes that even automatic shutdown and
recording devices are never truly tamperproof, that throughout
industry such devices are routinely turned off to save trouble
(324). Moreover, what is recorded can be inaccurate because of
rolling and pitching from the ship (327)(595). Another
suggested that an indication of pump condition be part of the
automatic shut—off system (1275).
One cornznenter asked that a manual override be allowed
because the CO concentration of less than 100 ppm would be
exceeded for short periods such as when waste feed is initiated
arid an automatic shutdown would delay the process unnecessarily
(1268). Flame-outs should not trigger a shutdown as long as at
least one of the three burners is lit, this coinmenter said
As for the speed of shutdown, one commenter believes that a
4-second delay is unnecessary; TSCA regulations would require
immediate shutdown, which is technically possible because an
automatic shutoff coupled to the temperature reading would be
triggered imrrtecliately be electric relay (1255). Another
comnmnenter, however, objected to requiring shutdown time “on the
order of” 4 seconds and asked that the permit require shutdown
within 4 seconds (469).
4. Waste feed and feed rate
One comnmenter said that the 10.5 cubic meter per hour feed
rate is inconsistent with the engineering details of operating at
177 million BTU’s per hour with a fuel of specific gravity 1.03
yielding 13,900 BTU’s per pound (1275). The feed rate is
automatically recorded by a tamper resistant or tamper detectable
device, one cominenter noted.
One commenter noted that rotary cup burners such as the
Vulcanus are not the best means of atomize liquids into
incinerators (1354).
One comnmenter worried that waste fed to the incinerator in
the 4 seconds before a shutdown might be more concentrated and
asked how this would affect calculations of efficiency (469).

5 • Smoke and plume
The condition that no “black” smoke be allowed is not
acceptable to several cornxnenters (469). One says color should
not be the control, but content —- only waster vapor should be
visible (1277). Another suggested that ambiguity over shades of
gray could be eliminated by allowing only white smoke.u
Since plume length would vary according to conditions, one
cornnienter suggested that radio broadcasts to nearby traffic warn
ships to stay further away than 3 nautical miles (469).
6. Vibrations and systems monitoring
A special provision of the permit allows the shiprider to
shut down the burn if vibrations can endanger the integrity of
the incinerator system, tank, or, ship, one commenter noted.
This should be extended to require a shut down if vibrations
interfered with burn efficiency as well, the comznenter said
The same commenter considered daily inspections for fugitive
emissions too infrequent and asked that the shiprider inspect the
entire system for leaks and fugitive emissions and record status
more frequently (1255).

1. General perceptions
Nearly all coinmenters agree —— monitoring the activities
under this permit is necessary (368)(297)(206)(1255)(342).
Hundreds of commenters don’t believe it can be done effectively,
however (1012)(289)(300)(99l)(1266)(1500)(1605).
Some of these commenters pointed out that enforcement of the
monitoring and other research protocols are not adequately
provided for in the permit (1255)(1262). Many comznenters cited a
lack of good monitoring in past test burns and in hazardous waste
disposal in general as the basis of their doubts that this
project would be well monitored (1023)(322)(249)(474)(313). One
such commenter said that EPA did not monitor well on land, often
taking readings of emissions upwind of stacks (324). A few
cominenters specifically requested that someone not from EPA or
from CWM be onboard the Vulcanus as an additional guarantee that
the experiment would be conducted correctly (342)(33].). Another
cominenter emphasized that personnel who are authorized to inspect
the equipment should be allowed to “inspect and test” since
inspection implies looking only (469). One cou menter wanted the
absolute power to halt the burn vested in this independent
observer (331). Some commenters, however, do believe that past
monitoring efforts have been effective (302)(275).
2. Citizen oversight
Several cornmenters requested that monitoring data be made
available to the public (340)(297)(319). One comznenter pointed
out that MPRS I had its own freedom of information provision for
public access to information (330). Some cominenters said that
the monitoring of the 6—mile sludge dump site off the coast of
New Jersey had not capably ensured that the barge released loads
in the designated area; they doubted monitoring would be better
handled 140 miles from shore (474)(3l3). In fact, said one
commenter, most violations were reported by fishermen, not the
authorities (313). Given this, many cominenters believe that the
public—spirited citizen is an invaluable watchdog, and they ask
how these citizens will now be assured that the official
monitoring is indeed factual since the site will be beyond their
watch (276) (1248) (327) (296).
3. Shipriders
Numerous coininenters support using shipriders(3224)(5 95 )
(284). Many, however, either interpret the permit to mean that
only one EPA shiprider will travel with the incineration vessel
or ask that the permit specifically state at least three

shipriders to ensure that someone will be awake and fresh around
the clock for the full 19—day burn (340)(1626)(1255). One also
requested three Coast Guard shipriders as well (1255). Some
coininenters fear that staff cuts, budget difficulties, or other
problems may lead to inadequate coverage (1054)(1263)(324)(224).
Shiprider training should be specified in the permit, said one
commenter (1626); so should the criteria for selection, said
another (1255). Another commenter claims that the burn site is
too far away, even a shiprider could not assure compliance
(1621). And, under no circumstances, said this cominenter, should
the permittee become involved in the monitoring process (1621).
Some cominenters would like the shiprider’s authority
specifically spelled out in the permit and to state that the
shiprider has ultimate authority for the research burn and will
shut it down if all conditions are not being met (1255).
3. Monitoring devices
One cominenter suggests that the flow rate should be measured
by bona fide flow measuring devices and not calculated from tank
soundings (1275). This conunenter also points out that any
devices should pass standard EPA tests given in 40 CFR Part 60,
Appendix D and located per their performance specification tests.
Some conunenters are concerned about the accuracy of
monitoring devices and indicate that equipment should be
calibrated before the cruise (1255); one conunenter specifically
states that devices should also be calibrated after use as well
as before to assure no shifts have occurred (1277).
A coinnienter points out that monitoring devices will have
tamper—proof or tamper-resistant controls (1268). This cominenter
believes that a shutdown should not be invoked merely because of
“any indication that the devices are not providing accurate
readings,” and suggests that it would be better to require a
shutdown if the there is a “failure of the monitoring devices.”
One coinmenter explained the tamper—proof system: the
incinerators would be monitored continuously by sensors for
temperature, oxygen, and carbon monoxide. This information would
be recorded automatically on a floppy disk; the disk drive would
be locked and only the shiprider would have the key (330).
Skepticism exists over how tamper—proof the devices might
be, however (469). One cominenter ask that these devices be under
constant supervision of an independent entity (1255).
One conunenter also recommends hourly monitoring for time,
date, wind speed and direction, vessel position, and vessel
course and speed (1268). Another suggested that data should be
recorded more frequently that once every 3 minutes and that
rolling arid pitching of the vessel also be recorded (469).

Permit wording that allows the principal shiprider to
authorize continued burning even if all the permit conditions are
not met is “the most glaring loophole of all” in this permit one
comxnenter believes (296). Some coznmenters ask that certain
failures be placed outside the principal shiprider’s discretion
and constitute a mandatory shutdown (296)(1255).
4 • Coa8t Guard involvement
One comxnenter requested that more than one Coast Guard
shiprider be a definite requirement for this research, not an
option (1255). Another coxnxnenter said that a Coast Guard
shiprider would be on board (345). A commenter wished to affirm
that the Coast Guard would check the ship and incinerator
soundness before the cruise (1255). This inspection should
include all three incinerators, said another coininenter (469).
Although the right to make unannounced inspections might
sound like a good precaution said one commenter, how could they
be carried out since the Vulcanus could detect Coast Guard boats
or airplanes well before arrival? (224).
Coast Guard regulations will apply to loading and off loading
operations, one comrnenter noted (284).