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EQ Slams State Charges as Wrong, Based on Inaccurate Evidence

Posted April 12, 2007
Updated April 13, 2007

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— Environmental Quality Industrial Services, facing a half-million-dollar state fine and possible loss of its license to run an industrial-waste facility, has attacked the state's case against the company as "erroneous and inaccurate."

A statement from the Michigan-based company on Thursday came shortly before the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources was to convene a public hearing as part of the permit-revocation process.

EQ's waste sorting-and-transfer station in Apex was gutted in a a raging Oct. 5 nighttime fire that prompted the precautionary evacuation of about 17,000 Apex residents when colored clouds of smoke rose from the facility and firefighters said they did not know what had been stored there.

"A thorough investigation into allegations in the state's proposed termination" of EQ's permit "reveals allegations are erroneous and inaccurate," the company said in a prepared statement from Scott Maris, vice president for regulatory affairs.

State complaints that led to imposition of a $553,225 fine in March. The state citied previous problems with chemical releases and smaller fires at the Apex site that it charged were never reported to state or local officials.

“The incidents in the state’s report never presented a threat to employees nor the environment. EQ was in full compliance in its response," the statement said.

DENR's Division of Waste Management based its decision on “speculation or statements, some second-hand, which were contradicted by reports of eye-witnesses who were directly involved in the incident and/or by documents generated at the time the events occurred,” the company said.

EQ also noted that state inspectors averaged four visits a month to the site, and the company asked how they could have missed alleged violations cited as reasons to revoke the permit.

The Apex facility has remained closed since the fire. EQ officials have expressed a desire to reopen it.

Apex officials have vowed to fight the company's efforts. They also have said that zoning put in place while EQ was open would now prevent any such facility inside the town's borders.


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  • mslisac363 Apr 13, 2007

    What this means for EQ is that Apex has to many people with money now and this company should only be in an area around poor people. Look at International Paper Company in Raleigh they put I don't know how much chemicals in the air, but it is allowed because it's a very poor area.

  • Me-N-Nc Apr 12, 2007

    I understand that EQ was at that site before over 90% of the area homes were built. So I look at our officials that sign off on building permits as part of the issue. I also wonder, why were we (Apex) fired up to get it cleaned up ASAP, but yet we accept that there is not a official cause of the fire. It could have been a person walking their dog and tossed a lit cigarette that way and "Plume".... What is the city wanting to zone there now?? More houses??? Sorry, but I feel I have reason to question some motives. Every issue that ends up in the news for Apex, is an issue I think the city is or will profit from if they get their way of "NOT IN MY BACKYARD" policy passes.

  • superman Apr 12, 2007

    Why didnt the fire department look over tax records or the phone book of any business that might need special or different fire fighting tactics or chemicals. They must have looked pretty stupid when they got to the fire and didnt know what to do. A little research and leg work might have enabled them to handle the fire. If they had needed special chemicals or special equipment to fight the fire-- EQ might have helped them get what they would need in the event of a fire. Sounds like the city of Apex has dropped the ball on preparing for emergencies relating to fire. Do they have a fire chief? Bet the town and the fire department didnt even know they were there or what was going on? Ignorance is truly bliss. They couldnt have prevented the fire-- but surely they could have been better prepared.

  • freddie cadetti 72 Apr 12, 2007

    The state is cowarding under to the public pressure here. There was nothing found to indicate hazardous material caused anyone harm. Just one more example of letting public outcry stand in the way of truth. This stinks as much as the falsley accused Duke players. Hey Apex, you're really loking more like Caryites everyday.