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Activists urge Wayne County officials to say no to more toxins, waste

The Coalition to Oppose the Expansion of US Ecology has a message for the commissioners of Wayne County: When it comes to more toxic waste, Wayne County should just say no.

The coalition is reacting to plans by Idaho-based U.S. Ecology to ramp up waste dumping, storage, and processing at three different sites across the county, involving deadly toxins and radioactive waste.

One of the proposed actions should be well-known to regular MT readers: a planned ninefold expansion of the U.S. Ecology installation on Detroit’s east side. Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) is considering a new license that would allow the facility “to increase hazardous waste storage there in tanks and containers from 64,000 gallons to nearly 666,000 gallons.” The menu of potential substances to be treated or stored is anything but appetizing: heavy metals, sludge, pickle liquor, cyanide, hydrochloric acid, even wastes containing low levels (less than 50 ppm) of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

Many of the neighborhood’s residents argue they’re already being “choked out” by industry
, and the expansion of the toxic waste facility is just another example of environmental injustice.…