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The Pacific Marine and Supply Company

Letter from David Gardiner to Senator Daniel K. Inouye


April 30, 1996

Honorable Daniel K. Inouye
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Inouye:

Thank you for your letter of February 2, 1996, to Vice President Gore in support of Pacific Marine and Supply Company's proposal to participate in the Project XL pilot program. We share your enthusiasm for Project XL and for the development of new technologies in hazardous waste management. We currently have many regulatory reinvention initiatives underway at EPA which will help to promote environmental technology innovation.

Over the past few months we have conducted an extensive agency-wide evaluation of the Pacific Marine proposal. EPA's Office of Solid Waste, Office of General Counsel and Region 9 have worked closely with one another to evaluate the potential of the vitrification process and the regulatory flexibility that Pacific Marine requests. While we believe hazardous waste vitrification technology holds great promise, we conclude that the specific project proposal would not produce, in our judgment, superior environmental results, which is the standard for participation in Project XL. Therefore, EPA has made the decision to reject the Pacific Marine and Supply Company Proposal. However, there are a number of options that Pacific Marine can pursue to conduct their demonstration project.

For regulatory reinvention to be a success, some innovative ideas need to be embraced within the agency's existing programs. Pacific Marine's demonstration project provides an excellent opportunity to look for currently available mechanisms that permit innovation. Ray Sarasino in EPA's Region 9 has been working with Pacific Marine to determine the most appropriate regulatory mechanism to allow testing of the vitrification technology and the glass silicate end product. Region nine and Pacific Marine have mutually agreed that a Research and Development Permit is the optimal path to pursue. EPA will continue to work closely with Pacific Marine to expedite the administrative process for obtaining the permit. We look forward to forging a new relationship with Pacific Marine and the State of Hawaii.

Thank you again for your interest in Project XL. If you have any further comments or questions please feel free to contact Ray Sarasino at (415) 744-2040.


David Gardiner
Assistant Administrator

Cynthia Cummis; OPD/ESSD; 2129; 260-6915 AL-9600467

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