Waste Management Responds to EPA Investigation

Kettleman City, CA, January 27, 2010 — In response to yesterday’s announcement from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regarding its intention to investigate the recent birth defects in Kettleman City, Waste Management issued the following statement from Kit Cole, director of external affairs:

“Waste Management applauds the EPA’s decision to investigate the community’s health concerns. We fully support the EPA’s efforts and will gladly cooperate with the investigation, including providing data or assisting with public education efforts in Kettleman City.

We know the community is looking for answers and hope the EPA will be helpful in providing information regarding the potential causes of the five babies born with birth defects in Kettleman City.

At the same time, however, we stand by the health and safety record of our Kettleman Hills Facility. WM operates the facility with the utmost regard for its employees and neighbors and takes seriously its responsibility to provide the safe and secure disposal of waste. The facility has been in the area for almost 30 years and is located at a safe distance from local residents who live more than three miles away. In addition, the facility is downwind from Kettleman City.

Several studies — including two health risk assessments and a peer review prepared as part of the project’s environmental impact report — have been conducted by third-party organizations examining the potential health effects of WM’s operations on the local community. These reports have all concluded that the facility does not pose any health risks of concern to residents.

In addition, numerous studies have been conducted by academic researchers around the world to determine whether there is a higher health risk associated with living near unregulated Superfund sites or regulated landfills, including regulated hazardous waste facilities. These studies have largely concluded that it is not possible to draw conclusions about causality of birth defects or other health effects. WM therefore encourages EPA to take a holistic approach when conducting its investigation.”

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Waste Management’s (WM) Kettleman Hills Facility has been an integral part of the Kings County Community for more than 28 years. The facility is permitted to handle municipal solid waste and hazardous waste, both of which are heavily regulated, monitored and controlled by more than 10 local, state and federal government agencies. The facility’s staff includes 60 full-time employees, many of whom are active in the community. In addition to its community contributions and significant volunteer efforts, Waste Management provides a benefit to the local economy of more than $17million annually with a $3.7 million annual payroll. WM also contributes nearly $3 million per year directly to the Kings County General Fund through disposal fees. For more information, visit our website at www.kettlemanhillsfacts.com.