Firm ordered to stop burning medical waste

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The order last week against Nancy and James Oliver, who own Safety Waste Incineration near Mile 11 Knik-Goose Bay Road, also levies a $75,000 fine against the Olivers.

Federal District Judge John Sedwick issued the permanent injunction against the Olivers after concluding their incineration methods were inadequate to prevent the release of harmful amounts of dioxins, heavy metals, acid gases and other air pollutants.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency took the Olivers to court and last year won a ruling that the Olivers had been violating the Clean Air Act and federal rules for incinerating medical and infectious waste since 2002.

Contacted Friday, the Olivers insisted the court is wrong. "We feel that’s insanely wrong and unjust," said Nancy Oliver. "We are in complete compliance and we always have been, contrary to what the judgment was."

She and James Oliver said they submitted paperwork and other evidence to the EPA on Friday that demonstrates they are in compliance with federal air pollution rules.

"We’re asking them to immediately lift that injunction for that type of waste. We showed, we provided proof," Nancy Oliver said. "The judge said once we can demonstrate compliance … then the injunction will be lifted. We have (demonstrated). Once they see that, they should lift the injunction."

She also said small businesses such as hers are supposed to be exempt from some rules and that she and her husband will appeal the fine.

Sedwick’s 27-page order outlines years of EPA efforts to get the Olivers to comply with the law.

Michelle Pirzadeh, EPA acting regional administrator in Seattle, said Friday that the Olivers have violated federal rules "for many years. They have continued to do so despite an EPA Notice of Noncompliance, and EPA Administrative Compliance Order, and this court’s ruling that they are in violation of the law.

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