Response to EPA Report

KETTLEMAN CITY, Calif., Dec. 16, 2010 — In response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2009 California Toxic Release Inventory, Brian Bowen, Waste Management’s director of environmental protection, issued the following statement:

“Waste Management’s Kettleman Hills Facility is a permitted and highly regulated facility that receives hazardous waste materials precisely because it is designed and managed to safely and securely dispose of them. The Facility is permitted and extensively monitored by numerous federal, state, regional and local agencies to ensure the safe management of these materials. Recent health and environmental studies confirm the facility does not pose any risks to Kings County communities

Every year, Waste Management has explained that the methodology EPA uses in its annual Toxic Release Inventory is misleading and counter-intuitive because what is in fact an activity that provides a high level of community protection is inappropriately reported as a “release” to the environment. The Kettleman Hills Facility ranks high on the TRI because it is serving the precise purpose for which the facility is designed – the safe and environmentally secure containment of hazardous wastes from throughout the State of California.

In fact, EPA has noted that increases in receipts of materials at permitted hazardous waste facilities like Kettleman Hills is a positive development because these facilities provide secure containment for materials generated by local businesses and as a result of community cleanup projects.

The safe land disposal of hazardous waste remains an essential environmental service for our society. In 2009, WM facilitated the clean up of about 500 community projects that helped eliminate risks to public health and the environment. WM operates its facilities with the utmost regard for its employees and neighbors and takes seriously its responsibility to serve its customers with the highest standard of performance.”