For decades, in administrations Democratic and Republican alike, the Environmental Protection Agency has been a paragon of waste, fraud, and abuse, a corrupt taxpayer-funded Evil Empire. “Science” there is just a tool to be manipulated in order to advance radical anti-technology and anti-industry agendas, even if it means distorting the intent of statutes and affronting common sense.

It’s cooking data to justify costly regulations with disproportionately small benefits.

The EPA is the prototype of agencies that, driven largely by politics, spend more and more to address smaller and smaller risks. In one analysis by the Office of Management and Budget, of the 30 least cost-effective regulations throughout the government, the EPA had imposed no fewer than 17. For example, the agency’s restrictions on the disposal of land that contains certain wastes prevent 0.59 cancer cases per year — about three cases every five years — and avoid $20 million in property damage, at an annual cost of $194 to $219 million. In his excellent book Breaking the Vicious Circle, written shortly before he was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, Stephen Breyer cited another, similar example of expensive, non-cost-effective regulation by the EPA: a ban on asbestos pipe, shingles, coating, and paper, which the most optimistic estimates suggested would prevent seven or eight premature deaths over 13 years — at a cost of approximately a quarter of a billion dollars. Breyer, appointed to the court by President Bill Clinton, observed that such a vast expenditure would cause more deaths than it would prevent from the asbestos exposure, simply by reducing the resources available for other public amenities.

Also, perversely, the very act of removing asbestos from existing structures poses greater risk from asbestos than does simply leaving it where it is: During removal, long-dormant asbestos fibers are spread into the ambient air, where they expose workers and bystanders to heightened risk. When the EPA banned asbestos in 1989, it was already an old product whose risks and benefits were well understood. Nevertheless, political pressures from environmental activists pushed the EPA into making a decision that actually raised public-health risks. Breyer also addressed the EPA’s counterproductive efforts to eliminate the “last 10 percent” of risk from a substance or activity, noting that it involves “high cost, devotion of considerable agency resources, large legal fees, and endless argument,” with only limited, incremental benefit. Such overly stringent rules are also more likely to be challenged in court and overturned on judicial review. Breyer quotes an EPA official as observing that “about 95 percent of the toxic material could be removed from [Superfund] waste sites in a few months, but years are spent trying to remove the last little bit.”

Another example of flawed decision-making at the EPA was the imposition of overly stringent ambient-air standards under the Clean Air Act. Clean air is desirable, of course, but an ill-conceived EPA rule finalized in February 2012 created new emissions standards for coal- and oil-fired electric utilities. According to an analysis by Diane Katz and James Gattuso of the Heritage Foundation:

The benefits are highly questionable, with the vast majority being unrelated to the emissions targeted by the regulation. The costs, however, are certain: an estimated $9.6 billion annually. The regulations will produce a significant loss of electricity generating capacity, which [will] undermine energy reliability and raise energy costs across the entire economy.

One of the costliest EPA policy boondoggles is a program known as “Superfund” (officially the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act), which is intended to clean up and reduce the risk of toxic-waste sites. It was originally conceived as a short-term project — $1.6 billion over five years to clean up some 400 sites (by law, at least one per state and, not coincidentally, about one per congressional district). But it has grown into one of the nation’s largest public-works projects: more than $30 billion spent on about 1,300 sites. How could cleaning up toxic-waste sites not be a good thing? Well, various studies have attempted to evaluate the effects of Superfund’s massive and costly cleanups, but the results are equivocal. Put another way: After the expenditure of tens of billions of dollars, no beneficial results have been demonstrated.

On the other hand, Superfund projects have caused a great deal of harm. University of California economics professor J. Paul Leigh has analyzed the occupational hazards of environmental cleanup projects and concluded that the risk of fatality to the average cleanup worker — a dump-truck driver involved in a collision, for example, or a laborer run over by a bulldozer — is considerably greater than the cancer risks to individual residents that might result from exposures to unremediated sites. (And consider that cancer risks are theoretical estimates over many years or decades, while worksite fatalities occur during the much shorter time of the cleanup.) Even former EPA administrator William Reilly admitted that Superfund’s risk-assessment paradigms are flawed.

In a speech at Stanford University while a visiting lecturer, he discussed the excessive costs of basing cleanups on exaggerated worst-case scenarios: The risks [Superfund] addresses are worst-case, hypothetical present and future risks to the maximum exposed individual, i.e., one who each day consumes two liters of water contaminated by hazardous waste. The program at one time aimed to achieve a risk range in its cleanups adequate to protect the child who regularly ate liters of dirt. . . . And it formerly assumed that all sites, once cleaned up, would be used for residential development, even though many lie within industrial zones. Some of these assumptions have driven clean-up costs to stratospheric levels and, together with liabilities associated with Superfund sites, have resulted in inner-city sites suitable for redevelopment remaining derelict and unproductive.

The most recent new EPA travesty is new rulemaking on methane emissions, which have elicited more than a dozen legal challenges. Driven more by politics than by science, they are based on dubious data and would bring the American energy revolution to a halt, devastating not only the economy but also the environment.

Last year, the EPA reported that since 2005, net methane emissions from natural-gas infrastructure had fallen 38 percent, while total methane emissions from natural gas had dropped 11 percent. This year, however, the EPA claims that methane emissions from the oil and gas industry are one-third higher than previously thought and that overall methane emissions from natural gas have dropped only 0.68 percent since 2005. What can explain such a huge turnaround? Have America’s cows been put on a diet of hummus and baked beans?

The agency says it now has better data to determine methane emissions, but this claim is highly suspect, not only because of the administration’s political objective on this issue but because of the methodology. For one thing, the EPA’s latest figures are based on older sources developed in the 1990s, which has the effect of inflating the current measurements.

The EPA has chosen to ignore that the energy sector has taken numerous steps to reduce emissions. For example, fuels and oils that have been contaminated are now filtered by producers so they can be reused to yield maximum performance with fewer emissions. Birmingham’s Alabama Power has invested in technology that produces electricity more efficiently, lowering overall emissions. Since 2000, oil and gas companies nationwide have invested roughly $90 billion in technologies designed to reduce harmful pollutants.

The EPA is now using the cooked data to justify imposing much tighter limits on methane emissions from oil and gas infrastructure. For instance, other studies have found that the annual price tag to comply with these regulations could hit $800 million, and National Economic Research Associates has concluded that, by 2020, the regulations could be three times more expensive than the EPA estimate.  These costs will undoubtedly be passed on to consumers in the form of higher energy bills and more-expensive consumer products, depleting the recent energy savings consumers have enjoyed as a result of a resurgence of domestic oil and gas production. Last year, those savings saved consumers an average of $550 at the gas pump and boosted the disposable income of the average American household by $1,337.

Another effect of the EPA rule will be negative pressure on one of the American economy’s few sources of job growth: natural-gas exploration. Between 2005 and 2012, the U.S. lost over 378,000 jobs across all sectors, while energy production created more than 293,000 jobs. Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” and horizontal drilling, which produce most of America’s natural gas, support 2.1 million jobs — a figure once expected to nearly double by 2025. But the new methane standards would crush job growth by impeding new oil and gas projects. Ironically, the new methane rules will also hurt the environment by crippling a low-carbon-emission technology.

As of last year, natural gas–fired power plants tied coal-powered plants as America’s biggest sources of electricity production. Because gas-fired energy plants produce 50 percent less carbon dioxide than coal plants do, the growth of natural-gas infrastructure has played a key role in reducing carbon emissions. The oil and gas industry has been very effective at reducing carbon dioxide emissions. It has invested $90 billion in zero- or low-carbon energy technologies since 2000 — almost as much as the federal government has spent on clean energy.

Finally, we and others question the EPA’s legal authority to issue such rules. Congress has passed no law that requires the EPA to clamp down on methane emissions. It appears to be yet another example of regulators’ pushing the envelope, similar to the EPA’s declarations that carbon dioxide and rainwater runoff are “pollutants.” “This is yet another example of unlawful federal overreach,” charged West Virginia attorney general Patrick Morrisey. “The rules are a solution in search of a problem and ignore the industry’s success in voluntarily reducing methane emissions from these sources to a 30-year low.” President-elect Trump has promised that his “environmental agenda will be guided by true specialists in conservation, not those with radical political agendas.”

To achieve that goal, he may need to consider eliminating the rogue EPA entirely and assigning the agency’s essential functions to other less scientifically and ethically challenged departments within the sprawling federal bureaucracy. (Recall that the EPA was created during the Nixon administration by cobbling together elements of various departments, including the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture.) Conservation of the environment is something all Americans should support, but trying to accomplish that via a corrupt, ideological, and incompetent agency is a fool’s errand.  

Henry Miller, Jeff Stier

National Review Online

— Henry Miller, a physician and molecular biologist, is the Robert Wesson Fellow in Scientific Philosophy and Public Policy at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He was the founding director of the Office of Biotechnology at the FDA. Jeff Stier is a senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research in Washington, D.C., and heads its Risk Analysis Division.

exploitaters

Free Range Report

Comments

  1. Gina, none of the EPA’s environmental agenda has been deemed constitutional, so stop trying force it down the American people’s throat. You are entering the extra-legal world of anti-democracy!

    Accept the collective wisdom of the last election and stop any more environmental tyranny, pretty please!

    1. US Environmental Protection Agency

      https://www.pacermonitor.com/public/case/17775658/Highway_72_Properties,_Inc

      https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=100714047117363&id=100015363030628&set=a.100714063784028.1073741826.100015363030628&source=11&refid=17&ref=page_internal

      As a child I was taught that the EPA was going to save us all from the evil polluters destroying our planet with their greed and laziness. This summer I watched in horror as EPA personnel caused a three million gallon, accidental spill at Gold King Mine that killed the Animas River. They refused to pay damages on the grounds of sovereign immunity. Just a single example of the myriad ways the EPA no longer functions in the best interest of the environment, the citizens or business. I am hoping that Scott Pruitt can break the entrenched, entitled, bullying and bureaucracy protecting culture of the EPA.

      I would like to offer my story for your use in your upcoming struggle to be confirmed and to justify the changes that you will need to make in the EPA. As a constituent I would also like your help in forcing this grave injustice into the light of day, making it impossible for them to continue their dishonest collusion. The EPA after decades of “takings,” are finishing by stealing all the property rights from my company.

      I am a business owner who chooses to make environmentally sound business decisions daily. We use recycled and reclaimed materials in our manufacturing, we have spent a great deal of time developing a business model that we believe to be both profitable for our shareholders and responsible and sustainable for the environment. We have also found ourselves in an adversarial relationship with the EPA for almost 16 years to date.

      I purchased a known contaminated property, planning on cleaning it up and using it for my business. I made the mistake of contacting the EPA and my contact caused them to reopen a cleanup they had initiated and abandoned many years before. The EPA itself had contributed waste to this property along with the toxic waste from many Fortune 500 corporations. The incineration company, AERRCO failed, and thousands of 55 gallon drums were allowed to accumulate and rust through. EPA completed an initial cleanup and let the land sit vacant for decades before my purchase.

      When they reopened the cleanup after I contacted them, they moved my equipment and inventory off of 80% of my property (damaging and destroying virtually all they moved.) They erected a locked fence, topped with razor wire between the 80 % they were cleaning, and the remaining 20% that I was allowed to use. Unfortunately, that 20% was covered with the damaged remains of the equipment moved. My original business died and my lengthy wait for them to finish began.

      They have denied me access to my land for over a decade. I have been waiting 16 years for them to finish their cleanup, to offer me an agreement and restore my access. They finished the cleanup in 2013, yet still have me locked out, with no dollar amount for the lien or covenant for development of my property.

      August 5, 2016 Highway 72 Properties, Inc voluntarily initiated bankruptcy proceedings in an attempt to force the EPA to finally give us a dollar amount for their blanket lien so that we would be free to once again enjoy the storage business they destroyed in its infancy. The taxes have been paid. We have lenders ready to invest in our business immediately when we have a dollar amount from the EPA to resolve their lien. A simple request that they provide a dollar amount for their claim has not been answered despite the DOJ and EPA attorneys both being fully aware of the document “Order on Access” mandating the debtors liquidated damages at $1,000.00. To assert any other amount is fraud on the estate and the Court.

      We find ourselves today in the midst of collusion between the EPA and the County to convert the chapter seven to a chapter eleven, and sell our property to an insider, a lawyer who has worked with the EPA in this cleanup. The EPA and County have both agreed to wave their debts if Columbine Strategics gives the bankruptcy trustee $20,000 to apply to the trustees fees. Highway 72 has a broker price opinion for 3-5 million dollars for five acres, zoned heavy industrial, with six access points and a rail spur. Property values in the Denver area have skyrocketed since Marijuana legalization. The bankruptcy trustee is not seeking other bids, nor marketing the property despite his fiduciary responsibility to the estate he is representing in the bankruptcy court.

      My decision to call the EPA, reopening this cleanup began a cascade of events that cost me decades of income from my business, and led to the breakup of a marriage and loss of my family. I have struggled to survive waiting for the EPA to finally disclose the amount of their blanket lien so that I can finally earn the reward of all that struggle and loss. The County of Jefferson sued without noticing me, or meeting alternate requirements, the EPA, the County and Columbine Strategics conspired to transfer the title to my hard earned land to their friend Kemper Will. In testimony in court they said the land should be given to Kemper Will because he is a better citizen. I’m unclear of the law that places being a good citizen over property rights. What they are really saying is that they don’t like us, or our business model and they are going to show us what happens to people who don’t respect their authority.

      This case would be a wonderful example for you to use of how the EPA has become a bully, willing and able to use its authority to enrich a friend and eliminate property owners they dislike. I have attached several pages of documents related to the case.

      Please let us know what we can do to help you reform the EPA. I would imagine a simple phone call or email from your staff would place the EPA staff in Denver on notice that the EPA no longer bullies people out of the right to peaceful enjoyment of their property.

      Thank you for your time and consideration,
      Russ Scohy
      President
      Highway 72 Properties, Inc

      Pacer link

      UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT
      District of Colorado
      Highway 72 Properties, Inc.
      Debtor(s)
      Case Number.: 16-17762-EEB
      Chapter: 7
      Debtor SSN/Tax
      Id Nos.: 84-1363871
      Joint Debtor SSN/Tax Id Nos.:

      Highway 72 stresses to the Court from day one that it has always had 1 million in financing available, pending a dollar amount and agreement with the EPA. That would cover the debt, and costs for the clean up of the mobile homes destroyed by having been moved.

      This case’s primary objective was to determine and satisfy the undisclosed blanket lien filed by EPA in 2001 encumbering Highway 72’s title and restricting its ability to obtain the financing needed to recreate a viable business. EPA formally removed all of its cleanup assets including all monitoring wells in June 2013. After cleanup and equipment removal, the EPA continued to restrict Highway 72 from of 80% of its property restricting it from access and productive use.

      The EPA’s Windfall Profit Claim and Takings Liability and the Bankruptcy Court Trustees fiduciary responsibility to pursue.

      The EPA established a recorded blanket lien against Highway 72’s property title in *** EPA fenced, gated and locked highway 72 out of 80% of its property excluding no one else but Highway 72, thereby taking constructive possession. It has not been returned despite removal of all cleanup and monitoring equipment, and repeated requests. This EPA’s lien was described in the December hearing as a Windfall Profit, defying the definition as provided by the statutes. There is no “windfall” if Highway 72 sees no profit as a result of the restrictive activities of the EPA.

      Highway 72 has lost $300,000 per year for the last 14 years in income. That is in excess of $4.2 million, more than the entire amount of the Cleanup cost of both properties. Additionally, EPA destroyed and removed in excess of $500,000 of inventory and equipment, leaving damaged mobiles that now need to be removed. Again NO Windfall Profit, so NO Windfall Profit claims for the EPA. The EPA settled with itself as a contributor to the AERCO waste stream for actual damages at $13,000 as a de minimis party, but has refused settlement with Highway 72 Properties, Inc.

      The EPA further claims five acres of industrial land in Arvada have limited value. Highway 72’s business intent was a storage facility similar to the neighboring Stor-Rite. That 4 acre property was purchased for 1 million cash 12 years ago. At $250,000 an acre Highway 72’s 5.2 acres would have been worth $1.2 million 12 years ago, with five more access points than Stor-Rite, plus the value of the private rail spur at $60,000 per year. A BPO this summer valued the property at $2.5- 5 million based on current market factors. None of this has anything to do with a cleanup that started 20 years prior to or during Highway 72’s ownership. There is no serious market concern for a fully remediated property. To the contrary there is a clean slate on an industrial property requiring no phase 1 survey before development.

      The EPA has additional takings liability for proposing covenants that are significantly more restrictive than those offered to Columbine Strategics, or any standard covenant. The covenants Proposed by EPA in association with Jefferson County were not in the standard form and scope. There is no reason for the covenant to expressly forbid the building of affordable housing as long as the homes are to be moved to final locations or to grant unreasonable and excessive access. The existing Statutes provide everything needed to protect the public interest.

      The only reason they were forbidden was to limit Highway 72’s tenant TinyTainers, Inc’s ability to manufacture Tiny Houses on the property that they have prepaid for a year. A $24,000 lease executed between Highway 72 and TinyTainers, Inc for an advanced 12 month period beginning once TinyTainers becomes able to use a portion of the property under EPA’s continued control. Their business has been put on hold along with Highway 72’s, by the incalcitrant behavior of the EPA.

      TinyTainers lease does not preclude Highway 72 from building an RV storage facility on the remainder of the property. TinyTainers has had to refer clients to other builders until the space they have rented becomes available. They have a request to build 50 TinyTainers homes for veterans in the Denver area.
      https://m.facebook.com/Colorado-Tiny-House-Makers-and-Fans-1621049238218331/?ref=bookmarks.
      TinyTainers has a very active Meetup group with over 3000 members for people who build, live in or are working towards living in tiny houses in Colorado..
      https://www.meetup.com/Tiny-House-Enthusiasts-Colorado

      As a background note, Highway 72 was one of three Company’s properties to become involved in the cleanup. None of these companies had shared ownership or any relationship except being bounded by property lines. GWI was removed from the cleanup when they noticed the EPA that they had $100,000 available for cleaning up an extremely toxic mess. The EPA took control of that cleanup and restored the property to full use within 18 months. The AERCO (AKA Highway 72) and THORO efforts languished through several years of meetings which Highway 72 attended with counsel (Brian Pinkowski, mandated by the PRP Group) until Highway 72 was asked to leave because it did not have Fortune 500 resources.

      In March of 2005 the DOJ went so far as to have one of their staff attorneys, Jeffery Talbert, traveled from Washington DC to meet with Highway 72 at the property to discuss the concerns. His parting comment was Highway 72 should spend more time supporting EPA’s efforts to clean the property and less time documenting the damages and illegal activities of the EPA. Highway 72s response was that the EPA eliminated any option for cooperation by locking Highway 72 out of the property and PRP activities, by removing them from the PRP group and having the EPA’s Ms Paula Shmidtel tell Highway 72 that it had no more rights to participate in the activities than the general public. This clearly stymied any cooperation Highway 72 was able to offer.

      The EPA has spent years undermining Highway 72’s business. The Debtor has repeatedly requested a date and requirements to have the property returned in to productive use. We have an email dated 11-02-12, from Keri Fielder EPA Remedial Unit B, in response to her notice for a final walk through of the Aerrco Property, which had been Highway 72’s property for over a decade at that time. As always, there was never a response. Email evidence is available upon request.

      Thoro was released to its owner 2010, Highway 72 remains barred from its property today despite removal of all cleanup equipment in June of 2013. In August of 2016 our attorney, Mr Sheade discovered the final report had been issued in March of 2014.

      Of the three properties involved, Highway 72 was the only one with excessive restrictions to its business, 80% of the property was fenced off from the Owner (Exhibits G&H), damage to assets moved by the EPA and its contractors, and a refusal to negotiate reasonable covenants and disclose the lien amount. The other two Companies suffered minimal disruption to their respective business to the extent there were no potential claims. Highway 72 was blocked from earlier takings by Statute of Limitations and a lack of understanding of law. EPA as the Government entity had a responsibility under the Statutes to initiate and pay for the entire process, they have been reimbursed by PRPs (including themselves as a de minimis party) for expenses.

      There remains an opportunity for Highway 72 to initiate a takings suit for losses occurring after the EPA had finalized and closed their activities on the property, 3-2014. Potentially, this could include prior damages with documentation of the fraudulent practices, theft and excessive damages to Highway 72s assets. Highway 72 was never noticed or provided the final report and only learned about it from current counsel 7-2016. The damages in that takings case are anticipated to exceed 1 million dollars to the Debtor estate.

      Ch 11 Trustee
      Abuse of Authority

      From the onset of the 341 creditors hearing it was clear the CH11 Trustee was not impartial, to the contrary as the debtor and counsel entered the room there were discussions of recent intimate family religious events between the Trustee and Columbine Strategics counsel. The Trustee took an aggressive approach to the Debtor questioning. He encompassed nearly the entire allotted time for his questions. Fortunately he covered nearly all the Creditors interests thoroughly.
      He spent an inordinate amount of the time probing the Highway 72’s President and his personal affairs. None of it was within the scope and authority of the hearing. The Trustee’s testimony to the Court and in the hearing subsequently following the 341 was aggressive enough towards the Debtor the Court silenced him.

      To be clear Highway 72’s property is zoned I-2, the heaviest active industrial zoning in Jefferson County. Constructing affordable housing on site is well within the zoning. It is also compatible with RV storage. For the Trustee to assert that using the property to construct affordable housing in an over priced market is not allowed in the zoning, is another dramatic misrepresentation to the Court. Attached are the County’s allowed uses from their website.
      Jefferson County I-2 Zoning regulations

      The Trustee’s assertion that the land has no value due to the existence of the former Rocky Flats Nuclear Trigger Plant defies logic. Between Rocky Flats and Highway 72’s property are the thousands of new homes selling for over 500,000 and up. Candellas, one of the two new subdivisions bordering Highway 72’s property is between Rocky Flats and Highway 72 and claims to be a billion dollar development. Candellas is a buffer property of 1 mile between Highway 72 and the Rocky Flats plants contamination. The fact they are building and have financing for their product is a clear indication for the demand and increasing value of the property in the area. Candellas received a payoff settlement from The DOE for contamination created by the Rocky Flats Nuclear Trigger Plant. Highway 72 is outside of the settlement area.

      The information presented to the Court by the Trustee was fraught with ignorant statements especially regarding the value and desirability of the property. He fraudulently informed the Court he was not paid in November. The Trustee is aware he was paid in full in November contrary to his testimony to the Court. His statements were a significant prejudice in the Conversion hearing 1-12-17. So much so the Court asked the Creditors if they preferred a dismissal or liquidation.

      Their response was liquidation with both Creditors waiving their liens and offering the Trustee $20,000.00 if Columbine Strategics was transferred the real property free and clear. All of the 6 attorneys for the Creditors and Columbine Strategics are fully aware that is a clear violation of the no “Fire sale” rule. $20,000 is under 1% of the properties market value. The entire offer and efforts expended by the Creditors confirms collusion with the intent to defraud the Debtor of the estate and its value. The Court questioned if Columbine Strategics was offering to be a straw buyer. The question was not answered.

      The DOJ and EPA attorneys and are both fully aware of the document “Order on Access” mandating the debtors liquidated damages at $1,000.00. To assert any other amount is fraud on the estate and the Court.

      Ch 7 Trustee
      Closed sale
      From the new Chapter 7 Trustee in emails during Feb 2017 it has been clear a fast, closed sale is his intention for liquidation of the debtor asset. There will not be a listing nor marketing of a 3.5 million dollar asset. He intends to accept a closed bid of $20,000. The Trustee is also apparently not pursuing the Takings suit in excess of $1,000,000.00 or Jefferson County’s fatally flawed judgment.

      It is not clear if all potential bidders will enjoy the same terms offered to Columbine Strategics, that of a favorable covenant and waived claims by the Creditors against the Debtor estate.

      Columbine Strategics Kemper Will – Insider

      Kemper Will as a former EPA attorney holds a conflict of interest. He represented principles in the cleanup and has worked with the EPA for decades. He was counsel for a PRP in this action and he chaired the PRP meetings and was included in many of the emails between Highway 72 and the EPA. He should not be allowed to profit from knowledge obtained through reading those emails. Additionally, his interest in this Bankruptcy ended the day the tax certificates held by Columbine Strategics were redeemed. To have his counsel enter an appearance in a matter Columbine Strategics no longer was a party to at the hearing on 1-12-17, was extraordinary.

      Mr. Will informed Mr. Scohy as Highway 72’s representative he was no longer welcome in the PRP group and as such would not receive the same protections from suit the other members received. The subsequent claim Highway 72 voluntarily resigned from the meetings is absurd. As a CDHPE employee stated in initial meetings with Highway 72 “The PRP group is represented by the 26 greatest local minds in environmental law.” To pass on that educational opportunity would be unconscionable. Not to mention the covenant protections afforded membership with the EPA and third party liabilities.

      Further evidence of Mr. Wills’s ongoing relationship with the EPA was demonstrated by the EPA’s trespass to provide Columbine Strategics with information about his potential costs removing Highway 72’s property to meet his Covenant requirements. On June 9th 2016 employees of the Environmental Protection Agency were discovered trespassing on Highway 72’s Property under the auspices of a potential spill.

      What made this clearly trespass is they did not use their own keys to the locks they installed on their own gates locking Highway 72 out of their own property. Nor did they speak to the President Mr. Scohy who was on site at the time. Instead employees from downtown Denver drove to the rear of the property parked on the contiguous property and walked down the rail spur to a cut in Highway 72’s fence. They wandered through many of the mobile homes which would not be part of their “potential spill.” They were discovered on top of Mr. Scohy’s personal containers with a Geiger counter in civilian clothes. When confronted, the EPA employee repeatedly stated, “I told them I didn’t want to be involved in a trespass.”
      Photos of his ID and vehicle are Exhibits A-C and G&H

      The “potential spill” was biodiesel byproduct that had been stored for over 7 years in the same place and with the same method. EPA was active and on the property for many years of that period and could have at any time, including during the decommission process, legally inspected the contents. From the timing it is clear that the EPA was there to assess at taxpayer expense the cleanup costs required by the covenant executed between the EPA and Columbine Strategics (Exhibit F.) This is a clear theft of services and waste of government resources by EPA and Columbine Strategics. The inappropriateness of this visit was further evidenced by the fact that EPA made site access an issue at the hearing immediately following the 341 hearing. At that hearing, the Court made it clear it would grant access if Highway 72 did not. Not another word has been heard on the matter even 6 months later.

      EPA’s “proposed” access agreement (Exhibit D) is an attempt to grant Jefferson County super access, beyond statutory authority and as a clear abuse of power and collusion between the agencies. This agreement proposes exceedingly restricted uses beyond anything required of Thoro or GWI. To restrict the construction or storage of residential units and to require vapor barriers to park an RV, would be to restrict any RV tenants again excessive and an abuse of authority.

  2. While I greatly dislike most of the Executive Agencies (EPA/BLM etc), I do wish that Asbestos had been banned sooner. I’m 40 years old, and just had my Malignant Peritoneal Mesothelioma surgery, caused by direct asbestos exposure while maintaining aircraft in the Air Force.

    1. My grandfather was exposed to asbestos working as a welder in Mobile AL during WWII. My grandmother was also exposed, just from laundering his work clothes. It was a major factor in his death; a minor one in hers.

      OTOH, the biggest reason the Twin Towers collapsed on 9/11: The EPA mandated that asbestos NOT be used as fireproofing for the girders partway through…. and the buckling caused by fire softening the steel occurred in the non-asbestos layer. Two deaths, though dear to me, vs 3000 deaths plus injuries; what’s the trade off.

      Engineering is based on cold equations….. and has to be.

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