The Alliance For A Clean Environment
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Pipeline Facts Sheet

Issues, Concerns, and Facts
DEP Air Pollution Permits for Occidental/Waste Management

PMMC Physicians Petition Governor to Reverse DEP Permits for Hazardous, Corrosive Pottstown Landfill Gas Pipeline, July 2001
  • Physicians at PMMC have confirmed a significant increase in pollution-induced diseases in their patients, described by some as a Health Crisis.
  • To protect the health of tens of thousands of area residents, physicians at PMMC recently petitioned the Governor to reverse DEP’s permits for the toxic landfill gas pipeline project, because it will result in a concentration of some of the most HAZARDOUS air emissions known to mankind at Occidental Chemical.
  • DEP permits would result in enormous HAZARDOUS air emissions INCREASES at Occidental Chemical, just ˝ mile from PMMC.
  • Within two miles of Occidental there are 31,000 residents, thousands of children attending 25 schools and day care centers, and many offices and businesses employing thousands of people. This also adds health risk to tens of thousands more downwind.
Issues Identified by Mayor Anne Jones
  • This TOXIC gas pipeline will endanger thousands of residents and their children.
  • Due to the changing contents of toxic landfill gas, emergency personnel would not know exactly how to treat victims after a leak, fire, or explosion.
  • PMMC could be within the exposure zone, being a half mile from Occidental
  • Major pipeline accidents are increasing across the nation.
  • Officials of the Borough of Pottstown have not been given the proposed route of the pipeline by either DEP or Toro Energy, despite repeated requests.
  • The pipeline could be dangerously close to the industrial rail line that carries hazardous chemicals, including vinyl chloride, going to Occidental. There is risk from vibration or derailment. Accidents on the nation’s railroads are also increasing.
  • The pipeline could go through an area that includes the flood plain of the Schuylkill River. A leak, fire, or explosion could contaminate this source of drinking water.
  • No clear Emergency Plan or Cleanup Plan for HAZARDOUS gas leaks, fires, or explosions has been provided to the people of Pottstown. Neither DEP nor anyone else would be able to protect or help victims of such a hazardous gas pipeline. This would be a catastrophe waiting to happen. Accidents happen every day.
Occidental Chemical Emissions
  • In 1998, Occidental released 121,500 pounds of Vinyl Chloride into our air.
  • In 1999, Occidental released 130,000 pounds of Vinyl Chloride, a huge INCREASE.
  • Vinyl Chloride is the top ranked cancer risk in Montgomery County.
  • Vinyl Chloride is a known human carcinogen. It could also cause reproductive problems, liver disease, nerve damage, and immune system dysfunction.
  • Occidental is one of the largest emitters of Vinyl Chloride in the nation.
  • Occidental will INCREASES the most hazardous air pollutant emissions by burning Pottstown Landfill gas as fuel, some are not even evaluated in Oxy’s permit. This will produce a dangerous CONCENTRATION of the most HAZARDOUS chemicals known to mankind, which will expose a densely populated area with thousands of children in 25 schools and day-cares within 2 miles of Occidental, and our hospital within ˝ mile.
Issues Identified by ACE – For More Information
  • The pipeline will result in increased HAZARDOUS air emissions at Occidental, in a heavily populated area, a half mile from our hospital.
  • Occidental wants our community to believe their argument that overall emissions will be reduced. There will be NO REDUCTIONS from this project at Occidental, only extremely hazardous INCREASES.
  • The recent PBS Bill Moyers Documentary “Trade Secrets” revealed efforts by the chemical industry to cover up harm to employees and the public for many years. Details are available at on vinyl chloride’s harmful emissions. Oxy’s current vinyl chloride air emissions are an enormous health threat to those around Oxy.
  • Occidental wants our community to believe the “lesser of two evils” argument, that burning toxic gas at their location is a safer option. The only safe option for us is to not burn this extremely hazardous landfill gas anywhere in our heavily populated community without first removing harmful contaminants and chlorinated chemicals.
  • Occidental wants our community to believe they are good neighbors. Oxy is willing to burn this toxic landfill gas and concentrate extremely hazardous air emissions in a heavily populated area. Oxy is willing to put an entire community at risk from pipeline leaks, fires, and explosions.
  • Toro Energy, DEP, and EPA want our community to accept their claim of hundreds of landfill gas projects across the nation, when they know that only a handful of the projects involve toxic landfill gas pipelines through heavily populated communities.
  • DEP has chosen to disregard a mountain of evidence linking harmful air pollution to leukemia, cancer, asthma, allergies, and other diseases.
  • DEP has chosen to disregard the threats to public health and safety that are associated with the toxic and unregulated landfill gas.
  • DEP has chosen to disregard the threats to public health and safety associated with the heavy metals that are in the landfill gas.
  • DEP has chosen to disregard the threats to public health and safety that are associated with the radiation that is in the landfill gas.
  • DEP has chosen to disregard the threats to public health and safety that are associated with the dioxin that will be produced as a by-product when landfill gas is burned.
  • DEP has chosen to abuse their discretionary authority as they interpreted regulations to benefit large polluting corporations, and place an entire community at avoidable risk.
  • DEP has recklessly endangered tens of thousands of people, especially those already sick, the elderly, and our children.
  • DEP ignored our documented health crisis which includes significantly elevated leukemia, several types of cancers in adults, childhood cancer, and infant mortality
  • DEP has chosen to disregard requests to deny permits for the pipeline from Mayor Jones, Pottstown Borough Council, ACE, and many residents.
  • ACE asked Representative Mary Ann Dailey and Senator James Gerlach to support the physicians petition. We need their help to get our Governor to reverse DEP’s decision, based on the undeniable health and safety threats this project presents.

    Please help stop this threat by contacting the Governor (717) 787-2500, Senator Gerlach (610) 458-8010, and Representative Dailey (610) 326-9563

    Please make copies of this information for your family, friends, neighbors, and everyone at church, work, or civic organizations.

    P.O. Box 3063
    Stowe, PA 19464

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