Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2007 08:29:40 -0500
Reply-To: Ralph Stuart <rstuart**At_Symbol_Here**>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: Ralph Stuart <rstuart**At_Symbol_Here**>
Subject: Apex Residents Pleased With EQ's Fine
Comments: To: SAFETY

Another piece of the image of hazardous materials in the press...

- Ralph

Apex Residents Pleased With EQ's Fine

The state Tuesday fined the operators of the EQ Industrial Services  
facility in Apex $553,225 in connection with violations before a fire  
last fall that forced thousands to evacuate.

The state Division of Waste Management said the company did not  
report incidents involving chemical reactions, fires and waste  
releases before the Oct. 5 explosion and fire. The state also plans  
to terminate the company’s permit, which would prevent the facility  
from reopening if the company decides to do that.

Tuesday evening, several Apex residents, including Mayor Keith  
Weatherly, said they'd like to see the state carry out its plan and  
EQ never return.

Some residents say that a half-million-dollar fine is not enough for  
a night they’ll never forget.

"That's a one-time experience. I don't think a chemical plant blows  
up near your house everyday," said Jared Gritz.

"When I told people where we were from, they said, ‘Oh, your town  
blew up, didn't it?’" Lisa Leonard said.

"I don't think there is a dollar amount that you can put on that,”  
Leonard said. “I would like to see them gone."

"We don't need a chemical plant of any kind like that close to people  
living. I'm hoping that they won't come back to Apex. I'm hoping that  
maybe the state will not let them do business in North Carolina,"  
said Wade Baker.

Apex Mayor Keith Weatherly shares the sentiment.

"The sense of well-being was disrupted from our community for a while  
and probably won’t be fully restored until this issue is resolved  
that EQ will not resume its activities in the town of Apex,”  
Weatherly said.

EQ officials have said that they want to rebuild in Apex, but town  
leaders have said they would try to block any such moves. The company  
has 60 days to contest the fine.

“We are surprised that (the North Carolina Department of Environment  
and Natural Resources) has elected to move forward with its effort to  
terminate our hazardous waste permit despite the fact their own data  
shows no environmental impact,” EQ Vice President of Regulatory  
Affairs Scott Maris said in a statement.

A public hearing on the proposal is scheduled for 7 p.m. April 12 at  
Apex Town Hall. People also can file comments with the state on the  
proposal until April 23.

Reporter: Dan Bowens
Photographer: Greg Clark
Web Editor: Ron Gallagher

Copyright 2007 by All rights reserved. This material may  
not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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