The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

December 26, 2012

Our View: EBV case raises concerns

JOPLIN, Mo. — A “significant” settlement in the wake of “substantial” emissions. So said a spokesman for the Environmental Protection Agency, summing up pollution discharges from EBV Explosives Environmental Co., as well as subsequent EPA enforcement efforts.

“Concerning” is another descriptor we will add to the mix after the federal agency announced the plant between Joplin and Carthage had excess hydrogen chloride and chlorine gas emissions, and would install equipment to eliminate 200,000 pounds of pollution annually.

Besides agreeing to install additional equipment to cut emissions, the company also agreed to a settlement of more than $580,000.

We’re pleased the plant has cut pollution. What’s concerning is the way the thing came to light.

Federal and state regulators in recent years have lacked the resources, and sometimes the will, to closely monitor emissions into the environment. So companies are required to monitor their own pollution discharges and self-report when there are violations.

“The report starts a process of enforcement, and when we looked further into it, we found violations of their permit,” said the EPA’s Chris Whitley.

Hazardous waste, primarily from outdated military munitions, has been burned in the incinerator since 1995. In 2008, the company announced it was expanding to handle two new waste streams under a contract with the U.S. Department of Defense. But company officials at the time said the new units they were building to process the waste would be “10 times more effective in controlling emissions” than earlier methods.

Bill Michaels, a former Carthage veterinarian, was among those who opposed the original incinerator in the late 1980s. He said residents should be concerned about anything that put more lead and other pollutants into the environment and that the public must “keep on top of this to make sure the company is doing what it says it’s going to do.”

Somebody needs to make sure companies keep their environmental pledges, but we’re not sure that putting that responsibility on the shoulders of the public — or self-reporting by the company —  is an answer that gives us confidence.

 

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Other Views Other Views: Eroding court’s authority

    While Kansans were focused on the twists and turns of school finance this past week, lawmakers made an unnecessary and historic change in how the state’s district courts operate, coercively tying the reforms to badly needed funding.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Your View: Travesty

    What a travesty that a terrific young man from Spain is on the verge of deportation even though he has proven his worth in America (Globe, April 13).

    April 18, 2014

  • Your View: Astonishing transformation

    The transformation of the Republican Party in the last decade is astonishing.

    April 18, 2014

  • Your View: The changing view

    It is heartbreaking to hear the decades old trees (which border on South Pennsylvania in Webb City) cracking and being bulldozed down.

    April 18, 2014

  • Our View.jpg Our View: Safe and sound

    Of the 7,500 Joplin and Duenweg homes hit by the 2011 EF-5 tornado, fewer than 20 percent of them had basements.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Other Views Other Views: Funding for state’s roads

    Missouri is finding there is no good alternative to growing the economy, adding new well-paying jobs and expanding the tax base.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Geoff Caldwell, columnist: Government without apology or explanation

    Americans feel closest to their Uncle Sam at this time of year as he extends his hand for his “fair share” to fund his numerous endeavors.

    April 16, 2014

  • Your View: Step aside

    The people of Joplin made it clear they wanted change at City Hall with their decisive votes to replace two council members.

    April 16, 2014

  • Your View: Serious drawbacks

    Joan Banks’ guest column (Globe, April 13) lays out clearly and persuasively the serious drawbacks with so-called right-to-work legislation.

    April 16, 2014

  • Your View: Free choice

    Joan Banks’ guest column (Globe, April 13) regarding right-to-work seems to assume that if workers are given the choice of joining a union, they won’t join.

    April 16, 2014

Local News
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Poll

The United States is considering deploying about 150 soldiers for military exercises to begin in Poland and Estonia in the next few weeks, following Russia's buildup of forces near its border with Ukraine. Do you think we should deploy these troops?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
NDN Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Sports