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Apex Residents Pleased With EQ's Fine

Posted March 6, 2007
Updated March 7, 2007

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— The state Tuesday fined the operators of the EQ Industrial Services facility in Apex $553,225 in connection with violations before a fire last fall that forced thousands to evacuate.

The state Division of Waste Management said the company did not report incidents involving chemical reactions, fires and waste releases before the Oct. 5 explosion and fire. The state also plans to terminate the company’s permit, which would prevent the facility from reopening if the company decides to do that.

Tuesday evening, several Apex residents, including Mayor Keith Weatherly, said they'd like to see the state carry out its plan and EQ never return.

Some residents say that a half-million-dollar fine is not enough for a night they’ll never forget.

"That's a one-time experience. I don't think a chemical plant blows up near your house everyday," said Jared Gritz.

"When I told people where we were from, they said, ‘Oh, your town blew up, didn't it?’" Lisa Leonard said.

"I don't think there is a dollar amount that you can put on that,” Leonard said. “I would like to see them gone."

"We don't need a chemical plant of any kind like that close to people living. I'm hoping that they won't come back to Apex. I'm hoping that maybe the state will not let them do business in North Carolina," said Wade Baker.

Apex Mayor Keith Weatherly shares the sentiment.

"The sense of well-being was disrupted from our community for a while and probably won’t be fully restored until this issue is resolved that EQ will not resume its activities in the town of Apex,” Weatherly said.

EQ officials have said that they want to rebuild in Apex, but town leaders have said they would try to block any such moves. The company has 60 days to contest the fine.

“We are surprised that (the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources) has elected to move forward with its effort to terminate our hazardous waste permit despite the fact their own data shows no environmental impact,” EQ Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Scott Maris said in a statement.

A public hearing on the proposal is scheduled for 7 p.m. April 12 at Apex Town Hall. People also can file comments with the state on the proposal until April 23.

8 Comments

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  • El Doggo Mar 7, 2007

    It's simple! The developers were allowed to OVER develop the area because many of them are city council members...

  • Israel J Pattison Mar 7, 2007

    And yet they passed an inspection and were found to be in compliance just days before the fire. I would like to see an investigation into how developers were allowed to build residential areas that close to a permitted hazardous chemical facility.

  • has had enough Mar 7, 2007

    No... They violated their permit to operate by failing to report incidents (fire, leaks,...) that by law they have top report... So, they get their permit yanked. Why is that political? They screwed up, they pay...you screw up, you would have to pay...

  • twright530 Mar 7, 2007

    Hillary Clinton would say she used to work for the EPA after college.

  • JQ Public Mar 7, 2007

    I know personally that may residents for any given town in NC don't know about chemical storage facilities right down the street from their homes. They are allowed to be there under the guidelines of State Law. EQ was within compliance and the law by the States own submission. This decision to fine and shut them down is political. If you shut them down, you need to close the doors on Home Depot, Lowes, and every car repair shop in your town!

  • El Doggo Mar 7, 2007

    Actually, this facility was put in after many of the neighborhoods were built in the area. It is a stupid location and should have never been approved in the first place.

    There were other development placed in the area afterwards - those should not have been approved because of the hazzardous waste facility. Of course the developers on the Apex council would NEVER turn down another developer!!!!

  • cazman99 Mar 7, 2007

    THEY WERE DOING THERE JOB.I BET ALOT OF THE CHEMICALS THAT APEX PEOPLE USED WENT THERE.JUST SOMETHING ELSE FOR THEM TO BITCH ABOUT

  • superman Mar 7, 2007

    The people in apex so dead set against this company. There was no environment impact. It could just as well have been, a school, a church, Home Depot. Leave the company alone--they were there first-- you should have investigated where you were moving to. I hope a gas station doest go up in flames-- you folks have the gas stations closing down and run out of town too. And as for the fine-- if the company has to pay, they just move somewhere else and they will adjust their cost to dispose of the waste there. So you will be paying the fine indirectly.