USEPA Regional Administration to Visit Kettleman Hills Facility

Kettleman City, CA, February 2, 2010 — On February 3, Waste Management will welcome Jared Blumenfeld, Regional Administrator for the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Pacific Southwest Region (Region IX), to tour its state-of-the-art facility in Kettleman Hills. The following is a statement made by Bob Henry, Senior District Manager of the WM Kettleman Hills Facility:

We look forward to hosting Mr. Blumenfeld during his first visit to our Kettleman Hills Facility. Our facility is one of the most highly regulated businesses in California and provides the most technologically advanced solutions for the safe and secure disposal of waste. Our 60 WM employees at the site are proud of the work we do everyday to protect human health and the environment. These employees are themselves dedicated to giving back and protecting the air and land we all share.

Our facility manages municipal solid waste (such as everyday household trash or kitchen waste that we all generate), as well as hazardous waste materials. About 85% of the waste the facility handles is not classified as hazardous under federal regulations. However, because of California’s strict environmental laws, this waste is considered hazardous and must be disposed of in a Class I landfill, such as ours.

WM’s Kettleman facility is one of two operating hazardous waste landfills in California, providing a safe disposal option for waste in household garages and businesses involved in manufacturing.

The health and safety record of the Kettleman Hills Facility is exemplary, and several authoritative studies conducted by regulators and independent consultants have found, unequivocally, that no adverse health impacts to the community exist as a result of the facility or proposed project. For example, a recent environmental impact report noted that assessed risks for air quality at the facility’s boundary, and in Kettleman City, were at least 30 times lower than California EPA and local Air District targets. The same study found emissions from the proposed project do not — and will not — pose any additional health threats to the area.

With a presence in the area dating back nearly three decades, the Kettleman Hills Facility is a fixture in its hometown and will always support the interests of the community and those who live and work there. Local assessments involving the Kings County Health Department and Kings County Community Development agency showed that residents’ health is not related to environmental exposure from the Kettleman Hills Facility. We applaud the EPA’s efforts to uncover any sources of health problems in Kettleman City.

WM’s Kettleman Hills Facility is a critical part of protecting human health and the environment and making sure that California’s strict waste regulations are complied with. We welcome the opportunity to highlight our operations to the USEPA Regional Administrator and his staff.
For more information about the Kettleman Hills Facility, please visit www.kettlemanhillsfacts.com or contact Helen Luibel Herrera, community relations manager, at (559) 386-9711.

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.